Reuters employees in the US steps up protest action against management

MUMBAI: Reuters US' employees who are represented by the Newspaper Guild of New York have launched a strict work-to-rule campaign and a five-day national byline strike on Friday. This action comes as a round of negotiations begin today to reach a contract after nearly three years of talks. The effort to get an acceptable pact has mobilised Guild members in the editorial, technical and administration departments into a show of support for the Guild's bargaining committee, which is scheduled to resume stalled contract talks today with the management of Reuters America.

Guild members are holding lunch time demonstrations at Reuters offices in

several cities, including the company's North American headquarters in Times Square New York. They sport their traditional red t-shirts and perform only required work tasks. The Guild already has tentatively agreed to some reductions in health care coverage. It is also battling what it calls Reuters management's attacks on retiree medical care and on active employees' employment security. This took place after company managers sent US based reporting and picture-editing work offshore to low-wage countries.

New York Guild president Barry Lipton said, "It is particularly meaningful that in this time of big news stories our editorial members are withholding their bylines and credits in a show of support. These actions should send management the message that this is not a time of business as usual. Our members are demanding a fair contract."

The Guild and its parent union, the Communications Workers of America

(CWA) have placed an advertisement in Monday's edition of The New York Times. This calls attention to Reuters sending U.S.-based work to lower wage countries and the pitfalls of trying to cover American news from thousands of miles away. The Times' advertisement includes an e-mail address, for those who want to tell Reuters CEO Tom Glocer what they think of his reckless experiment in "remote control journalism" Lipton said.

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