Neither can we.
Just take a second and imagine facing that kind of cut to your income. It doesn’t matter how much you make, a pay cut of 18 percent is enough to change your lifestyle. That’s just crazy, right?
Yet, that’s what our employer, The Union Leader Corp. has forced upon us, the members of the Manchester Newspaper Guild. We are the workers at The New Hampshire Union Leader; the people who write and edit the news, take the photographs, sell and create the ads, handle your subscription and run unionleader.com.
And It gets worse.
While implementing this huge pay cut we haven’t agreed to, the company has more than doubled our health-care deductible, so we pay more than the non-union employees working right next to us. Is that fair? Could you afford that? Yeah. We can’t either.
We know the news industry is changing. We know changes must be made. When asked, and really needed, we’ve stepped up and helped our employer. Since, 2009, we’ve agreed to give back almost 15 percent of our pay. We’ve agreed to take on more and more of our insurance deductible. We’ve agreed to work longer hours, without receiving additional pay for the extra work, and more. We’ve done all that to help keep our business running. While we’re being asked to bear these huge cuts, management and non-union employees have only seen a smaller rise in insurance costs. No pay cut for them.
So, where’s the fairness?
If we are forced to accept this pay cut permanently, it would mean we would have lost about 30 percent of our pay since 2009. It would leave us making what we made in 1995. That’s when gas cost $1.11 a gallon. A new car then would run you $13,600. A stamp only cost 32 cents.
Imagine. Could you live in today’s world or run your business on what you made in 1995? Neither can we. Why does that matter to you? Because we’re all in this economy together. We are your neighbors and your customers. If we’re stuck with this huge pay cut, we will have less money to spend in our community. We’d all lose.
That’s why we need your help. Please take a few seconds to sign our email petition elsewhere on this page, and tell Publisher Joe McQuaid to treat his workers with respect and to bargain a new contract in good faith. A contract that’s fair and acceptable to everyone. Or, give him a call at 668-4321, ext. 200. Or, tweet him a message to @deucecrew.
We appreciate your help.