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DETROIT-AREA NEWSPAPER UNIONS RALLY FOR 'DIGNITY AND FAIR CONTRACTS'

 DETROIT-AREA NEWSPAPER UNIONS RALLY FOR 'DIGNITY AND FAIR CONTRACTS'
 DETROIT, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Metropolitan Council of Newspaper Unions:
 Tired of employer intimidation tactics and threats of job and benefit losses, unions representing six major Detroit newspaper unions will join with community leaders to rally for dignity and fair contracts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 29. The rally will take place in front of The Detroit News building at 615 W. Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Detroit.
 "We want to show the News, Free Press and Detroit Newspaper Agency (DNA) that neither the unions nor the community will stand for anti- worker, anti-community tactics in our town," said Al Derey, chairman of the Metropolitan Council of Newspaper Unions. Derey is also secretary- treasurer of Teamsters Local 372.
 "The community response to our struggle has been heartening," Derey said.
 Rally participants, including civic and union leaders, will cite several examples of local support for the newspaper employees.
 Contracts for about 3,000 unionized News, Free Press and DNA employees expire on April 30.
 The union council includes the Detroit Mailers Union, Local 2040, the Detroit Typographical Union No. 18, the Graphic Communications International Union, Local 13N, the Graphic Communications International Union, Local 289M, the Newspaper Guild of Detroit, Local 22, Teamsters Local 372 and the 340,000-member Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO.
 The employers' plans include contract concessions, intimidation and the hiring of replacement workers to attempt to publish the papers in case of a publisher-provoked strike.
 In addition to seeking the elimination of hundreds of good paying union jobs, News, Free Press and DNA managers are seeking to reduce employee health coverage and create two-tier and three-tier wage systems for some employees.
 The publishers have also hired Vance International Inc., a paramilitary security company in an attempt to intimidate employees. Labeled as "goons" and "thugs" by some union officials, Vance has worked with the Pittston Coal Group, Greyhound Lines, Boise Cascade Corp. and Caterpillar Inc.
 Vance is known for electronic surveillance, videotaping and a strong show of force.
 Union members have responded to the publisher threat with a comprehensive campaign designed to gain support from other union members, advertisers, elected officials, religious leaders and newspaper readers.
 Referring to the successful strike by United Food and Commercial Workers union members against Kroger Co., Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Ed Scribner said Detroit-area residents have shown they will not tolerate employers' attempts to undermine the community through contract concessions and brute intimidation.
 "The News, Free Press and DNA should take a lesson from the Kroger strike," he said. "This community will not support these tactics at the newspapers and will not buy a struck product."
 Metropolitan Council of Newspaper Unions officials say the publishers' attempts to eliminate good wage jobs are a threat to the entire community.
 "We all suffer when union members lose wages and benefits and are no longer able to buy homes, feed their families and send their children to college," Scribner said.
 -0- 4/28/92
 /CONTACT: Luther Jackson of the Newspaper Guild, 313-963-4254/ CO: Metropolitan Council of Newspaper Unions ST: Michigan IN: PUB SU:


SM-ML -- DE018 -- 3860 04/28/92 13:29 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1992
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