MIAMI, May 1, 2013 – EFE News Services Inc. introduced a new set of economic proposals this week calling for large increases in employee out-of-pocket monthly health insurance payments and cutting its retirement contribution by 25 percent.The Guild also questioned the company’s proposal on non-discrimination language and a proposal for unlimited interns.
Wage and Benefit Cuts
The company is now insisting on steep increases in medical premiums – as much as 19% in 2013 and nearly 24% in 2014. The proposals given to the Guild are deeper than EFE’s prior proposal of a 15% reduction in medical premium costs.
That’s on top of proposals to cut staff salary by up to 9% of salary after five years of a wage freeze. Under EFE’s new proposal, the lowest paid employees would have wages frozen for two more years instead of a wage cut.
“Normally, contract negotiations are give and take,” said Tony Winton, the Guild’s chief negotiator. “With these proposals, EFE seems intent on pursuing a ‘take and take’ stance,” he said. Continue reading →
MIAMI, Dec. 11, 2012 – Bargainers for EFE News Services rejected a new Guild proposal on non-discrimination that addressed all the concerns the Employer had earlier raised.
“I’m speechless,” said Jorge Bañales, chair of the bargaining committee. “EFE has been telling us for years it didn’t want two forums for discrimination claims, so we presented a proposal that gave exactly what they asked for.”
“EFE needs to address this issue now and stop playing games,” he added.
The union is seeking contract language that would bar discrimination based on age, gender, race, creed, color, national origin, and several other categories, in keeping with standards observed by almost all U.S. news organizations.
In November, the Guild advanced a compromise proposal that would essentially give a worker a choice if he or she believed there was discrimination: use the internal arbitration process, or file a legal complaint with a state or federal agency. If a worker chose to file a legal complaint, he or she could not use the arbitration process, where issues are decided by a neutral person. EFE had initially proposed that employees could complain of discrimination, but could not arbitrate claims.
WASHINGTON – EFE News Services proposed broader and deeper wage cuts for its U.S. workers on Tuesday as the Madrid-based news agency faces continuing financial problems.
As talks began a year ago, EFE proposed a five percent wage cut for certain senior employees, a decrease in medical costs of 15%, and a 25% cut in 401(k) contributions – all taking effect on Jan. 1, 2012.
Workers have already endured a four-year-long wage freeze.
On Tuesday, the employer said it was proposing a continued wage freeze for 2012, and an across-the-board wage cut of ten percent starting Jan. 1, 2013. Wages would remain cut through the proposed life of the contract, which would expire Dec. 31, 2014.