Atlanta staff protest AP’s contract offers as managers meet at hotel

Carl Druga

Carl Druga

AP staffers from the Atlanta bureau and South Desk took their message opposing

Atlanta staffers leafleting against AP's offers

Atlanta staffers leafleting against AP’s offers

the company’s cheap contract offers directly to managers meeting for a training session at an Atlanta hotel this week.

On Monday, staffers spent two hours outside the hotel distributing flyers objecting to the company’s worst proposals – huge health cost increases, an inadequate raise, forced transfers, slashed severance pay and creation of second-class “news associates” jobs.

The News Media Guild’s bargainers instead are seeking annual raises of 3 percent, limited increases in health care costs, better job security and other improvements.

The Atlanta staffers returned Tuesday and leafleted during lunch time. One woman passing by asked if they were union workers, then eagerly said, “Yeah! I’ll take one.”

A total of nine staffers joined in the protests: Katie Foody, Bill Barrow, Ray Henry, Janelle Cogan, Phillip Lucas, Jeff Martin, Don Schanche, Kate Brumback and Carol Druga.

AP managers from around the country, from both news and photo operations, the four regional editing jubs and elsewhere, are meeting Monday through Wednesday at the Embassy Suites opposite Atlanta’s Centennial Park, for training on improving cooperation and collaboration across media formats.

Contract bargaining, now in its 14th month, resumes on Sept.17 and 18.