The Star Tribune unions, being bullied by paper owner Avista Capital Partners, is taking their issue to the airwaves today in a public outcry to save their jobs and the newspaper by building solidarity.
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Avista Capital Partners' ownership of the Star Tribune has been bruising for the once-mighty workforce there. However, to date, despite the layoffs and cutbacks, the forces of organized labor haven't made much of a visible ruckus against management. PIM hears that's going to change today, as the unions are beginning to realize that they need a public solidarity strategy -- a turn prompted by Avista's new negotiating threat: its says if it doesn't get total concessions, the Star Tribune will file Chapter 7 bankruptcy on January 16th, according to one source.
"Theoretically" that's what Avista says will happen, we hear, though we have not yet been able to get first-hand confirmation of what Avista is telling the unions.
At a meeting Tuesday evening, folks from the major blocs of Strib employees got together. Today they will kick off a pressure campaign against Avista, led by the "Newspaper Workers Rank and File Solidarity Support Committee."
The point of the effort is to build solidarity among the Strib unions. We hear that if even one union fails to take what Avista offers, it's reportedly threatening to obliterate the metro's biggest paper, though we have not been able to confirm this.
We will update as more information becomes available.