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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:49 PM
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Honolulu Advertiser union employees earn key support
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Honolulu Bloggers Strike Gets Management Back to Table

by James Parks, Mar 8, 2008

Bloggers write the news, but its not every day they become the news.

In what may be the first-ever blog strike, writers at The Honolulu Advertiser, members of The Newspaper Guild-CWA Local 39117, got management to return to the bargaining table by refusing to post online blogs, including the blogs on an especially popular sports site. Many of the writers left messages for readers explaining their absence from blog duty, which is voluntary. Reporters, photographers and artists withheld bylines and credit lines from the newspapers print edition.

The strike worked. Coupled with an overwhelming strike vote by the six unions at the paper, the byline/blog strike pushed management to back down from its last and final contract offer and agree to new talks, which began last Thursday.

The workers were protesting the lack of a fair contract offer by the newspaper. Employees say the companys offer was an insult. The Advertiser, which is owned by Gannett, the largest newspaper company in the country, is demanding big increases in the Honolulu workers out-of-pocket health care costs. Coupled with a paltry 1 percent pay raise and a one-time 1.5 percent bonus, managements offer would set workers back by about $150 a month, union leaders say.

Local 39117 Guild Administrative Officer Wayne Cahill says management was surprised at how passionate the workers are about the contract offer.

I think they thought our people would be cowed, and have no choice but to accept it.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) met with the papers publisher last month and the next day rallied with the workers, saying of management (see video):

They just want even more. Theyve lost all perspective on what this business is all about. Their position is indefensible.

Mike Leidemann, a reporter at the Advertiser and president of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild, told The New York Times that after the newspapers reporters and photographers agreed to withhold their bylines to show opposition to the contract, blogs were a natural next step:

You cant write a blog without your name attached, so it was really part of the byline strike.

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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:54 PM
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1. The sports articles are generally the most read online articles
at the newspaper in question.

I imagine the sports blogs have a similar following.
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