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Merc, BANG-EB Guild members OK new contracts

Guild members at the San Jose Mercury News and the Bay Area News Group-East Bay that call for five unpaid furlough days in the next five months in exchange for no layoffs during that time period, according to a statement from the union.

The vote at the Merc was 61 to 47. In the East Bay was 33 to 16.

According to the Guild, the contracts also call for a freeze on vacation accruals and “new terms for consolidating editorial operations while retaining separate bargaining units.”

The statement from the Guild suggested union leaders weren’t enthusiastic about the new contracts:

Both the Merc and BANG-EB (Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, etc.) are operated by Denver-based MediaNews Group and owned by the California Newspapers Partnership, whose majority owner (54.23%) is MediaNews. The other partners are Gannett (19.49%) and Stephens Media Group (26.28%).

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