Monday, April 9, 2012
PEORIA – Mayor Jim Ardis today urged the corporate owner of the Journal Star to stop plans to outsource jobs and slash wages of newspaper employees with Peoria Unit 86 of the United Media Guild.
Ardis released his letter to Publisher Ken Mauser regarding contract negotiations between Local 86 and the New York-based owner of the paper, GateHouse Media. The letter – signed by 10 of 11 members of the Peoria City Council – asks GateHouse to reconsider its intent to outsource many jobs while cutting remaining salaries of employees who report, create and deliver the paper. Such changes also would hurt Journal Star readers, Ardis said.
“I fail to see how additional moves against employees and staffing would allow the newspaper to continue as a valuable public watchdog and community service,” Ardis said. “I have never run a newspaper. But less is surely not more, when it comes to reporting the news.”
Local 86 also released a letter from the senior pastors of two of Peoria’s largest and most influential churches, Cal Rychner of Northwoods Community Church and John King of Riverside Community Church. They wrote the letter to Publisher Ken Mauser after they requested a meeting with him, but he declined. In the letter, they ask GateHouse for a “just and fair” settlement.
“As pastors, we are always interested in seeking justice, ” They wrote. “…The Journal Star is a respected, solid, profitable enterprise. To that extent, we are concerned about your drastic push to outsource jobs, slash employees, cut wages and otherwise devastate the lives of loyal employees and their families.”
Local 86 urges all of central Illinois to contact Publisher Ken Mauser at 686-3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org in support of a fair contract and quality journalism. Also, please follow Local 86 at peoriawatchdog.com.
Local 86 ocntacts:
Phil Luciano, president: 309-213-1517
Chris Kaergard, vice president: 713-501-6825