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Village Voice staff prepared to strike if no deal is reached

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Holding Image Photo Credit: amNY

The Village Voice could soon be mute if the editorial staff goes on strike Thursday.

After weeks of negotiations, staffers at the iconic newspaper will see their three-year
contract expire on Thursday at midnight — and they’re prepared to walk and write for a new website, TheRealVoice.org, if there’s no deal.

“There’s a strong feeling of anger in the shop, and I think that was reflected in the strike authorization vote,” staff writer Jim Hoberman, a member of the negotiating committee, told amNewYork. “They’re in effect asking for our wages to shrink.”

Village Voice Media told staff that a new contract must include cuts to health care and retirement benefits, Hoberman said. The staff called that proposal “insulting.”

The UAW Local 2110, which represents 42 editorial, sales and human resources staffers in New York, is asking for nominal raises, enhanced vacation and child care benefits, and for management to cover taxes on health care extensions to domestic partners.

Management, meanwhile, wants to stop contributing to 401(k)s and require employees to contribute more to their health care plans.

Editor in chief Tony Ortega told amNewYork that “every three years [the union] authorizes a strike vote. I expect that this year, like every three years, we will agree to terms.”
 

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