Bulletins

Hilo unit seeks Aloha from OPI

Guild members Tom Callis and Nathan Christophel pose a key question to OPI honcho Dennis Francis. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald unit is in negotiations with OPI Thursday and Friday. Photo by staff 2016

Guild members Tom Callis and Nathan Christophel pose a key question to OPI honcho Dennis Francis. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald unit is in negotiations with OPI Thursday and Friday. Photo by staff 2016

Guild members at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald rallied outside the Big Island newspaper office Thursday morning to demand a fair contract.

Two days of Hilo talks start later Thursday and Friday.

Oahu Publications Inc. (OPI), which bought the daily in December 2014, has shown little willingness to reach a compromise after months of bargaining. OPI also owns the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, where contract talks are expected to begin later this year. The Hilo negotiations appear to be an early signal of what’s coming on Oahu.

The Hilo talks have dragged on despite modest differences on economic issues.

Early morning solidarity shift on big island. From L to R: Hawaii Tribune Herald members Richard Couch, Vanessa Agliam, Tom Callis, Nathan Christophel, Kevin Jakahi, John Burnett, and Kelly Stazkow. Photo by staff 2016

Early morning solidarity shift on big island. From L to R: Hawaii Tribune Herald members Richard Couch, Vanessa Agliam, Tom Callis, Nathan Christophel, Kevin Jakahi, John Burnett, and Kelly Stazkow. Photo by staff 2016

OPI appears to be sending a message that its workers are liars and cheats, with utterly no evidence.

Key issues include OPI demands for random no-cause-needed drug testing — the worst proposal the Guild has ever encountered on this issue.

The company wants a sick leave policy that demands doctor notes and waiting periods to be paid for a health problem.

A sick worker would have to struggle into the office or risk being fired after a couple of absences. Everyone would need to use up vacation time — also being slashed under the OPI proposals — or go unpaid for being sick a day.

“Workers should not be punished for using sick leave. It’s that simple, ” said Tom Callis, Big Island unit chair and Hawaii Vice President of the Media Workers guild local. “The company should realize its employees are its greatest asset; not liabilities.”

Severance, seniority and vacation also have been sticking points.

Look for more details on Twitter:

#hilodeservesbetter

#StandWithHilo

Pacific Media Workers Guild

Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post

Guild scholarships offered for 2016-17 college term

Next post

East Bay talks may help set stage for national joint bargaining