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Did You Know?

Guild asks Gingrich to intervene in dispute with Union Leader

Guild President: Opportunity for candidate to be presidential

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 4, 2012) – Unionized workers at the New Hampshire Union Leader encouraged Newt Gingrich to intervene on their behalf with the publisher, whose newspaper has endorsed the former House speaker in the Granite State’s GOP presidential primary.

Union Leader Corp. Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid is demanding concessions from workers in the paper's largest union, the Manchester Newspaper Guild, even though the company paid a dividend and executive bonuses a year ago.

“Newt Gingrich could help resolve this labor dispute by picking up the phone and urging Joe McQuaid to bargain in good faith,” said local President Norm Welsh. “This could help prove Mr. Gingrich’s presidential timber. As president, he would often need to find common ground between adversaries.”

Welsh pointed out that the Guild does not endorse or oppose any candidate; the 120-member union merely is asking for the candidate's help.

Since early September, Union Leader management has not budged from its demand that the Guild accept concessions. In November, it laid off five workers and unilaterally cut pay 10 percent for remaining Guild workers, a move the union is challenging under its labor contract.

The Guild agreed to concessions two years ago – including a 12 percent pay cut and expansion of the part-time workforce – to get the company through difficult economic times. Membership unanimously rejected a company proposal in late October. Last month, negotiations resumed, and the company continued to demand hundreds of thousands of dollars in concessions.

“New Hampshire and the nation need good, middle-class jobs. They’re what knit this country together. With his influence, here’s an opportunity for one of our presidential candidates to help us keep the good jobs we have,” Welsh said.

The Manchester Newspaper Guild, Local 31167 of The Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America, represents 120 professionals in the news, advertising, circulation and other departments at the New Hampshire Union Leader. For more information, visit www.manchesternewsguild.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ManchesterNewsGuild.