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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE SETTLES STRIKE WITH 10 UNIONS; COMPANY ONE STEP CLOSER TO OWNING PITTSBURGH PRESS

 PITTSBURGH, Nov. 30 ~PRNewswire~ -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette management met a key deadline today in its pursuit to acquire the Pittsburgh Press by finalizing five-year agreements with all 10 of the Press' unions.
 Today was the last day the company could settle with the unions under the tentative sales agreement set by the E.W. Scripps Company, owner of the Pittsburgh Press. The Post-Gazette still has to wait for an indication from the U.S. Justice Department that it will not act against the acquisition before it can resume publication.
 The Teamsters ratified their new contract yesterday with a vote of 498 to 14 to end the strike which started on May 17 to dispute a new distribution system. Also approving contracts Sunday were unions representing advertising and finance department employees, printers, pressmen, mailers, paper handlers and electricians.
 Last week, unions representing plate makers, machinists, operating engineers and service employees ratified agreements with the Post- Gazette.
 The Teamsters have agreed to accept the new delivery system and the elimination of 260 jobs over the contract's five years. The Post- Gazette in turn agreed to assign to Teamsters the work that will become available under the new distribution system, which will utilize adult carriers and depots as distribution sites rather than having drivers drop off bundles for youth carriers. The Teamsters will receive a $1,000 lump sum signing bonus and wage increases totaling $108 a week through the last four years of the contract. Th ?other unions will receive similar economic packages.
 The agreements end the more than six-month-long strike which stopped publication of both daily newspapers, which share distribution, printing and advertising departments under a joint operating agreement.
 At a formal contract signing ceremony this afternoon, the mood was positive. William Block Sr., chairman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said the company was anxious to return metropolitan print journalism back to the city.
 "We know the lack of newspapers has hurt the city's economy, its citizens and our advertisers," said Block. "We're extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with the unions and be that much closer to providing a newspaper to Pittsburgh."
 Earlier, National Teamsters President Ron Carey said the agreement was good for the union, the company and the community. He said he has asked Attorney General William Barr to speed the Justice Department's review. Thomas McGrath, head of the Teamsters newspaper division, echoed those sentiments and said the unions will work to rebuild the city's newspaper business under the new owner.
 Vincent P. Carocci, speaking for Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey, said, "This is welcome news. The sooner this labor strike ends and the city of Pittsbura? daily newspaper, the better it will be for everyone."
 ~delval~
 -0- 11~30~92
 ~CONTACT: Woodene Merriman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 412-263-1524~


CO: i?ttsburgh Post Gazette ST: Pennsylvania IN: PUB SU:

JS-CC -- PG011 -- 1986 11~30~92 14:30 EST
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Date:Nov 30, 1992
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