DJ's 'Sweet Deal'
We hear the company has been telling managers that the union was offered a sweet deal up front and turned it down. Let us tell you about that "sweet deal."
Last month, company lawyers sat down with members of the IAPE bargaining team including Steve and Jim to offer a proposal. If we would accept a doubling of our healthcare costs off the bat, they said, they would go easy on us in other areas. They said Rich Zannino wanted to make a quick deal. We asked what those other areas were and what kind of incentives Rich was proposing. They said they didn't know.
We told them that Dow Jones managers, whose health costs are already being doubled, are already outraged. IAPE members, we said, wouldn't understand if we cheerfully accepted such a dire increase— especially with no information about what we would get in return. We pointed out that, unlike managers, the rest of us have a union that is expected to negotiate, not capitulate.
We suggested they put together the best full list of proposals they could and we would look at them. Instead, they came to us with a different set of proposals, calling for even-more-severe health cutbacks, sharply limited wage increases and no protection on outsourcing.
We asked what happened to the incentives, and they said that if we wouldn't accept the doubling of health costs off the bat, there was no point in discussing that. And they informed us that our own proposals for wage increases, improved benefits and protection from outsourcing were things that they wouldn't consider.
That's where the talks stand today. We want to reach an agreement, a fair one, the sooner the better. We want to improve quality and make this a better company. The only way to do that is to provide fair wages and benefits for everyone. We can't do it through relentless cutbacks. Quality people deserve a quality contract.
Bargaining Committee Chair
IAPE CWA 1096