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Strib union: timing of NY Post story ‘a bit curious’

The Star Tribune’s labor leaders tell members that the timing of Sunday’s New York Post Strib-bankruptcy story is “a bit curious.”  By David Brauer 

Terming the timing of Sunday’s New York Post story about a possible Star Tribune bankruptcy “a bit curious,” Strib Newspaper Guild leaders also told members today that “we’ve been keenly aware of the company’s financial situation for some time. Nothing has changed with that.”

Just a few hours after publisher Chris Harte’s staff memo, Guild co-chairs Graydon Royce and David Chanen issued their own statement — titled “Happy Monday!” It’s sanguine, up to a point. “The principal lesson we have learned in the past several months is that we should expect the unexpected.”

But the update also contains this nugget of journalistic skepticism, pledging to “keep ourselves aware of the implications of whatever financial crises — real or imagined — crop up.”

Royce and Chanen note that despite the weekend’s angst, labor negotiations will begin on schedule Thursday. Here’s their memo: 

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Guild Members:

By now, most of you have heard of the Star Tribune’s engaging Blackstone to advise Avista in restructuring its debt. The New York Post story hinted that the company is headed toward bankruptcy — which Chris Harte denies. What does this mean for Guild negotiations?

It means they will still start later this week, on schedule.

We have been keenly aware of the company’s financial situation for some time. Nothing has changed with that. We will continue to focus on our issues and make every attempt to get the best deal possible given the current climate.

The principal lesson we have learned in the past several months is that we should expect the unexpected. We will maintain that point of view, and keep ourselves aware of the implications of whatever financial crises — real or imagined — crop up. The timing of the Post story days before negotiations are about to begin seems a bit curious to us. However, we need to stay calm and go about our business in negotiations.

Graydon Royce and David Chanen, co-chairs