TIME INC.’S GUILD REPLY: The Newspaper Guild is hoping that it can come to a deal with Time Inc. following months of fruitless negotiations that were punctuated by the Guild’s rejection of the publisher’s last, best and final offer.
“Time Inc.’s proposal to hollow out its own company was voted down by its employees in a nearly unanimous vote because it is simply not acceptable,” said Newspaper Guild of New York President Bill O’Meara. “Management wants the ability to send 160 editorial jobs overseas, which would be a massive blow to some of the nation’s most important and respected magazines. Many of Time Inc.’s proposals are not only outrageous, but illegal.”
The offer would impact more than 200 newsroom staffers, according to the Guild, which reiterated that it would wage a campaign against the publisher that would include pursuing legal options at the National Labor Relations Board, where it has already filed charges over what it calls “several Time Inc. labor law violations.”
WWD has obtained a copy of Time Inc.’s three-year offer, which if accepted, would have given members a wage increase of 2.5 percent for 2014 and 2015, and a 1 percent increase for 2016. If ratified, employees who worked at Time Inc. a year or more would get a bonus of $1,250, and for employees who worked at the company for at least six months, a $600 payout. Part-time employees would get a pro-rated portion depending on their duration of service. The contract also addressed subcontracting, adding: “To grow and thrive amid the challenges affecting the print media business (and thus maximize jobs and job opportunities) the publisher must be able to take opportunities to restructure its work force and reengineer its business processes.” As a result, Time Inc. said it may need to outsource or subcontract work and give the Guild 60-days written notice. Other details pertained to benefits, including vacation time and expense reimbursements.
After Guild members struck down that offer on Friday, a Time Inc. spokeswoman told WWD: “It is unfortunate that following months of hard work and good-faith negotiations by Time Inc., we were unable to reach an agreement with The Newspaper Guild’s leadership. We are disappointed that the Guild has voted against our last, best and final offer, which is both fair to Guild members and recognizes the new realities of the media industry, which has changed dramatically and continues to rapidly evolve.”
She did not respond Monday to queries as to what steps Time Inc. would take next. Time Inc. Guild representative Anthony Napoli said Monday that the two sides could go back to the drawing board. The representative said another option could be if both parties hit an impasse, the Guild could try to negotiate on some of Time Inc.’s terms.