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DRIVERS' UNION FAILS TO RATIFY CONTRACTS WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES

 DRIVERS' UNION FAILS TO RATIFY CONTRACTS WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES
 NEW YORK, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The membership of the Newspaper and Mail Deliverers' Union of New York and Vicinity (N.M.D.U.) yesterday failed to ratify three separate agreements with The New York Times Company (AMEX: NYT.A). The agreements covered the operation of The Times's new printing and distribution plant in Edison, N.J., and two newspaper wholesalers the company plans to purchase. Nevertheless, The Times stated that it would open its Edison plant under the terms of an arbitration award issued last November, which will enable it to achieve the cost savings and staffing levels it needs to operate the Edison plant efficiently.
 The negotiated agreements would have provided union members at The Times with a long-term contract, higher wages, payments to the union's welfare fund, job security and financial incentives for voluntary buyouts. The Edison agreement covered The Times's other production plants as well.
 The N.M.D.U. members drive delivery trucks for The New York Times and for the wholesalers who also distribute The Times and many other newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The Daily News and New York Post.
 Last December, the drivers reached a tentative agreement with The Times on the Edison plant and other issues. However, the president of the union, Douglas LaChance, said he would not bring the Edison agreement to a vote until settlements were reached on contracts affecting the wholesale delivery companies, whose employees are also represented by the N.M.D.U. Last month those settlements were reached with the wholesalers, pending union ratification.
 Earlier this week the N.M.D.U. employees of The Times voted in favor of the Edison agreement. However, under the bylaws of the N.M.D.U. all members are entitled to vote on such agreements including employees of The Daily News, New York Post and the wholesalers.
 The Times Company earlier indicated it may assign its right to purchase the Metropolitan News Company and Newark Newsdealers Supply Company to a third party if the N.M.D.U. failed to ratify the agreement. Metropolitan distributes The Times and other newspapers in New York City and Newark distributes newspapers in central and northern New Jersey.
 A fourth contract with two wholesalers being acquired by Imperial Delivery Service (I.D.S.) was also rejected. I.D.S. is owned by Arthur
Imperatore, a New Jersey businessman. Imperatore has stated that he will acquire Westfair Newspaper Distributors and Newspaper Distributors Company today and would hire new drivers if the N.M.D.U. rejected the contract. Westfair delivers newspapers primarily in Westchester County in New York and Fairfield County in Connecticut, and Newspaper Distributors serves Long Island.
 As a result of the union's failure to ratify the agreements, the company will not be using any of an existing reserve for N.M.D.U. buyouts. In 1989 the company reserved $30 million for voluntary buyout costs for all of its production unions, and $24 million remains in that reserve.
 -0- 5/7/92
 /CONTACT: Nancy Nielsen of The New York Times Company, 212-556-7078/
 (NYT) CO: The New York Times Company; Newspaper and Mail Deliverers' Union
 of New York and Vicinity ST: New York, New Jersey IN: PUB SU:


TS -- NY062 -- 7608 05/07/92 11:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 7, 1992
Words:556
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