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Strib bankruptcy talk on KFAI

Union firebrands take to the air at 11 a.m. Wednesday to talk about their paper’s future.
By David Brauer

Politics In Minnesota’s Dan Feidt notes that members of several Star Tribune unions will be on the KFAI program “Truth to Tell” today (Wednesday) at 11 a.m. It will be a rare chance to hear directly from folks most resistent to the cutbacks that Strib publisher Chris Harte demands.

On the guest list: Strib business writer Chris Serres, retired pressman Dan Ganley and pressman Doug Rzeszutek. Serres helped lead an unsuccessful effort this summer to oppose newsroom concessions; the pressmen’s union did torpedo givebacks by the Strib’s Teamster locals.

By the way, yesterday was management’s self-imposed deadline to have an “agreement in principle” with labor; by all accounts, that deadline was missed. In a December memo, Harte wrote “prompt union cooperation is essential,” adding “we must get these reductions ratified by the unions’ rank-and-file members by mid-January.”

He concluded, “Without the support of our unions, an out-of-court solution is not possible.” Management has since proposed wage cuts of up to 42 percent for some Teamsters, with pay and benefit reductions all around.

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In the past year, Harte has thrown out several deadlines that have been ignored, though many think this one is real; see whether the KFAI guests see this as another bluff.

KFAI’s call-in number is 348-0980; it can be heard at 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7 in St. Paul.