The members of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild (CWA Local 37082) voted to accept a two-year contract proposal that included a wage freeze. The Guild’s policy is to not announce the vote totals. What we can say is just about half of the members took time to participate, and there was a significant "no" vote.
This contract proposal did not receive the unanimous support of the Guild negotiating team, but a majority did recommend a very reluctant yes vote. The majority of the team decided that the time is not right for a labor battle.
We are disappointed that the company has chosen to not invest in its employees, many of whom are facing massive cost-of-living increases. We think that’s a bad business decision.
We are deeply concerned about the Seattle Times Company’s approach to labor relations. The company resisted engaging the Guild bargaining team in true negotiations. It dismissed many of the proposals brought forward by the Guild, which came directly from surveys of the employees and most of which cost the company no money. Its answers to proposals were often slow in coming and cynical in nature. This only lengthened the bargaining process and increased tensions between the bargaining teams.
The Seattle Times repeatedly referred to the union as a “third party” in negotiations. The company fails to recognize that its employees ARE the Guild.
Regrettably, we are forced to conclude that the Seattle Times does not want to bargain with its employees in good faith. Our sincere desire is the company comes to future negotiations understanding that the people sitting across the table represent the interests of more than 600 of its employees - and we hope the company displays a lot more respect.
After hearing all of the discontent in ratification meetings, the Guild bargaining team encourages the members to add their individual voices to the comments below.