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Newsday Media Group union approves new labor pact

Contract lets company seek new location, third party for production

Newsday's headquarters in Melville on Feb. 24, 2017.

Newsday's headquarters in Melville on Feb. 24, 2017. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Newsday Media Group’s unionized employees approved a new contract Saturday, paving the way for the newspaper to move to a new location and have another company handle production, officials said.

Co-publishers Debby Krenek and Edward Bushey said Newsday is seeking a different office on Long Island and a third party to print and distribute Newsday, the commuter paper amNewYork and the company’s other products.

“This would enable us to focus our resources and investments on content, audience and sales, and ultimately relocate to a more cost-effective and up-to-date office space,” Krenek and Bushey said Saturday in an email message to employees after the contract vote.

They said Newsday “remains 100 percent committed to publishing on both print and digital platforms.”

Michael LaSpina, president of Local 406 of the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said the changes at Newsday would mean the loss of about 225 full-time jobs and 300 part-time jobs. He said all of the affected employees will receive severance packages. Full-time workers will get three weeks’ pay for each year of service.

LaSpina also said he expects “a majority of the full-time people will be eligible to work” at the contractor that takes over production.

“The business we are in is declining,” he said. “We came to an agreement that I think is fair on both sides.”

Unionized employees approved the contract 262 to 19. It will raise the pay of the remaining unionized employees, most of whom are journalists, by 10 percent over four years, according to company and union officials.

“This vote is significant and enables us to move ahead and finalize a deal with a third party for printing and distribution,” Krenek and Bushey said.

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