While the chief executive officer of the Associated Press is presenting an upbeat picture of finances, the company’s bargainers say News Media Guild staffers must make sacrifices in health insurance and job protections for AP to stay competitive.
Just last Wednesday, AP CEO Gary Pruitt held a town hall, telling staffers that the company is strong financially with no risk of failure or bankruptcy. Pension payments and the transformation in the media landscape were described as challenges, he said, adding that all departments performed well in 2013.
At the bargaining table Tuesday, however, AP negotiators indicated that Guild-covered staffers work only for the traditional newspaper market, which is in decline. ” … I am sure that you also heard Gary say that revenues from the traditional newspaper market, served by employees in the News Media Guild, remain in decline,” AP said. “There is no way out of it — in the interest of responsible leadership, we must continue to find additional ways to manage prudently going forward. It is the only way we can keep AP strong for our customers, for our employees and for our journalistic mission.” Continue reading