The Chron and the California Media Workers Guild, Local 39521, reached a tentative agreement tonight that will limit layoffs to 150 workers instead of a possible 225 positions. Major points in the deal include:

    • Management can lay off employees without regard to seniority;

    • Employees who are laid off or accept voluntary buyouts will get two weeks’ pay per year of service up to a maximum of one year;

    • They will also get company-paid health care for the severance term, even in the event of a shutdown;

    • The union agreed to reductions in vacation time, sick leave and maternity/paternity leave;

    • The work week will be expanded from 37.5 hours to 40 hours;

    • And management has the right to outsource any work.

Guild members will vote on the proposal Thursday. The union represents 218 employees in editorial and 265 in advertising, circulation, finance, ad production and other functions.

With the agreement, the Chron said it expects to eliminate about 150 Guild jobs. If there had not been a deal, management was threatening to fire as many as 225 employees.

The Guild said it will release a bulletin summarizing all the proposed contract changes on Tuesday. It also said a set of the complete proposed amendments will be available on the Guild’s Web site ( as soon as possible.

Links: Unbylined Chron story; Guild’s announcement; KGO-TV ABC7; KTVU Channel 2; Associated Press.

SF Press Club News

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