Guild, UPI Reach Agreement to Prevent U.S. Shutdown

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NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2010) – The News Media Guild reached agreement Wednesday on wage reductions at United Press International aimed at preventing a shutdown of U.S. text operations. The agreement calls for a 14 percent wage reduction with protections for lower-compensated employees, and four Guild-covered workers will be laid off.

Most managers will be departing and others will face wage reductions.

UPI approached the Guild with a plan to close its text news service in the U.S. and to reduce its photo operations. The company said that its primary investor was making significant cuts to UPI’s funding, leaving it with few options.

“There’s no way to sugar-coat these cuts,” said NMG President Tony Winton. “But the agreement respects seniority and spares some of the lower-compensated employees from a steep decrease in income.”

Unit members ratified the agreement late Wednesday. “This is a terrible situation, but we’ve got a lot talented people, and we’ll do everything in our power to do the most professional job we can,” said Roger Wollenberg, the Guild’s UPI unit chair.