Long Beach : Newspaper Guild Rejects Latest Contract Offer

Press-Telegram reporters, maintenance workers and other employees have rejected the Long Beach company's latest contract offer by a 95-28 vote.

Union officials said they object to a proposed clause that would prohibit job actions, such as boycotts or strikes, that could hurt the company economically while the contract is in effect. The Los Angeles Newspaper Guild, which represents about 240 employees, currently is carrying out such a job action, asking readers to sign cards that would cancel their subscriptions if the union decides to turn them in. Union leaders said they have gathered about 1,500 pledges.

Bob Rowell, the Press-Telegram's vice president of operations, said he was surprised and disappointed by the vote. The company "has no plan to go back to the bargaining table," he said. Todd Cunningham, president of the guild's local, said he was hopeful the two sides could meet again. "We do want a contract," Cunningham said. "And we're not very far. We hope they see it that way, too."

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