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Newspaper Workers Take On Knight-Ridder Community, solidarity rallies focus on company's anti-union

Employees at Knight-Ridder Inc.-owned newspapers in nearly a dozen communities will protest the company's actions that are threatening the jobs of some 190 workers at the Monterey Herald in demonstrations on Thursday, August 21.

"This is just the latest outrage in a pattern of worker abuse that we've seen from Knight-Ridder and its partner in crime, Gannett," said Newspaper Guild/CWA President Linda Foley. "These kind of tactics are bad for journalism, bad for communities and bad for workers," she said.

In addition to the solidarity demonstrations, TNG/CWA is alerting Knight-Ridder shareholders about the company's poor judgment and likely impact on shareholder value and plans other efforts to focus attention on Knight-Ridder's anti-union tactics.

In Detroit, Knight-Ridder has been found to have committed numerous unfair labor practices that actually caused and prolonged the ongoing dispute at the Free Press (and the Gannett-owned News).

Now in Monterey, Calif., the company is showing its anti-union bias as it takes over the Herald from Scripps Howard which is firing all the union employees. "Knight-Ridder is forcing these longtime employees to reapply for their jobs, but it's not taking the same action at the non-union San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, acquired in the same swap with Scripps Howard," Foley pointed out. "This demonstrates a clear bias against union employees and may be grounds for more findings of unfair labor practices against Knight-Ridder," she added.

The newspaper unions at the Monterey Herald have taken unanimous strike authorization votes and have extensive community support in their fight against Knight-Ridder's union-busting.

A community rally is set for Thursday, Aug. 21 in Monterey, and TNG/CWA members in nine other locations will be

holding solidarity demonstrations and events on the same day to send their message to Knight-Ridder.

"Members of the Newspaper Guild/CWA, and the communities they live and work in, will not let Knight-Ridder take away their jobs without a fight. We are seeing the costs of Knight-Ridder's misguided strategy in Detroit, where a judge has ruled that Knight-Ridder's tactics actually brought about and prolonged the strike. We won't let that happen again," Foley said.

Among the locations holding solidarity demonstrations are Monterey, San Jose and Long Beach, Calif.; Akron, Ohio;

Detroit; Minneapolis; Duluth, Minn.; Gary, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; and Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia, Pa.

For more information about specific events, contact Debbie Thomas, TNG/CWA, 301/585-2990, or Candice Johnson, CWA, 202/434-1347.

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