On Thursday, I wrote about the Star Tribune’s three Teamsters locals going their separate ways on $12 million in balance sheet-saving concessions. That meant the cash-strapped Strib would receive $9 million in concessions from drivers and mailers — three-quarters of a loaf — even as the pressmen again voted no this week. In July, a similiar “no” vote canceled all three deals.
Now, union leaders have decided to hang together after all, the Teamsters for a Democratic Union website reports.
That means that the Strib — which wrested $2.5 million from its newsroom this summer — is back to zero on the far larger $12 million it seeks as a scheduled Sept. 30 interest payment looms.
In June, the Strib declined to pay interest to secondary lenders, putting the paper in default of its credit agreements. At the time, management explained it was hoarding cash anticipating a financial restructuring that included cost reductions.
Almost certainly, the big-money concessions from blue-collar unions are that plan’s linchpin.
Union officials delivered the bad news to Star Tribune general counsel Randy Lebedoff yesterday, the unbylined TDU story states.
According to a drivers-union business agent’s memo quoted in the piece, “At this time, [Lebedoff] is not sure what the management at the Star Tribune will do in the future. She said she hopes to have some answers in the next few days.”