November 15, 2006 E-MAIL PRINT

Contract Bargaining:

DJ sez: Take It. End of Story

We held our second contract-bargaining meeting with management Thursday November 15, 2006, and tried to get things off to a positive start by discussing some of our easier, less-confrontational proposals.

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Management's response: They said they aren't willing to consider a single proposal that we have made. They suggested that we jettison all of our proposals and just "work from" theirs. They said they were relaying that message after consulting with senior management.

The bottom line: Rich Zannino is telling us that he doesn't care what we have to say. He has some changes he wants to make— notably, more than doubling our health-care costs and holding down our wages— and he wants us to accept them. End of story.

The other side wasn't willing to discuss even our most innocuous ideas, such as doing away with archaic dress codes (which still exist in parts of the company) or ensuring that people who write books on the weekend don't have to share their income with Dow Jones. We wanted to talk about some of our family-friendly ideas, involving time off and sick leave, and they wouldn't hear of it.

They made it clear that, when we get to the harder issues— healthcare, wages, outsourcing, maternity/paternity leave, child care— they aren’t prepared to listen to our ideas in those areas either.

The arguments we make inside the bargaining room simply aren't, by themselves, going to be enough to get Rich Zannino's attention. As was the case the last time we did this, we need to stand up for ourselves. We need to show we are serious about getting fair wages, ending the steady erosion of our health benefits and protecting ourselves from pervasive outsourcing.

The negotiations are going to be long and hard. If we are going to move the other side off its fixed position, it will take everyone's effort. We did it last time, and it looks like we will have to do it again this time. Quality people deserve a quality contract.

The media is begining to pay attention:
New York Post: 11/17/2006


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