NEW YORK, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Global media giant Thomson Reuters Corp. (Toronto: TRI;NYSE: TRI) was charged today with unilaterally and illegally imposing drastic cuts in the compensation of its unionized journalists, technicians and other U.S.-based employees, the Newspaper Guild of New York said.
The Guild made the charge in a filing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which will review the facts of the case and has the authority to order the news and information company to make whole all employees who wrongfully suffered losses.
The Guild also charged the company with illegally implementing a Twitter policy that was never negotiated with the Guild and bars employees from tweeting anything "that would damage the reputation of Reuters News or Thomson Reuters." A union activist was "reminded" of the policy after responding to a senior manager's call to "join the (Twitter) conversation on making Reuters the best place to work" with a tweet that said: "One way to make this the best place to work is to deal honestly with Guild members."
The Guild and a U.S. operating subsidiary of Thomson Reuters had been in contract talks for more than a year when the Canadian-based company decided on Jan. 19 – a day when no bargaining sessions were taking place – that the talks were at "impasse" and said it would implement most of its comprehensive package of cuts throughout this year, which would reduce employees' compensation by an average 10 percent.
The Guild has been emphatic that no impasse exists and that the company's refusal to provide it with important, legally relevant information – the subject of another pending NLRB charge – made it all but impossible to bargain over major economic issues.
"This dispute is really about saving quality journalism in this country," said New York Guild President Bill O'Meara. "If a healthy company like Thomson Reuters – whose CEO made almost as much in 2008 as our 420 members' annual salaries – cuts pay, it will cause less healthy news organizations to cut even more, and pretty soon many of the journalists our democracy depends on won't be able to afford to stay in the business."
The Guild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, represents news text, photo, television, technical and related employees at the company.
SOURCE Newspaper Guild of New York