Media Blog

More Union Drivers Put Themselves Out of Work …

… and a bunch of other folks, too. Having had a number of unpleasant run-ins with the Teamsters, this is no surprise:

Newspaper drivers are a tough lot, and in Newark they’re playing tough with the struggling Star-Ledger. The Newhouse-owned paper is playing tough right back.
Yesterday publisher George Arwady shot a memo to employees advising them that the paper’s drivers were refusing to make contract concessions, and that if the drivers didn’t give in, its owners could well close the paper, the state’s largest and most powerful.
“Since it is doubtful that the drivers will ratify an agreement by October 8, 2008, we will be sending formal notices to all employees this week, as required by both federal and New Jersey law, advising you that the company will be sold, or, failing that, that it will close operations on January 5, 2009,” the memo says.
Back in July, in a move that stunned many, the paper’s owners told employees they needed to slash costs in the face of rising losses from advertising, and that it would sell or fold the paper unless it got them.

The web is hurting American newspapers to be sure, but the unions are going to kill a lot of them before Drudge gets around to it. Maybe this will help newspapers make an end-run around the distribution problem.