The Star Tribune newspaper recently announced plans to emerge from bankruptcy “on or about September 28,” but the news brought little comfort to the newspaper’s workers.
“In a way, for us the bankruptcy ended when we agreed to the concessionary contract in April,” said Graydon Royce, unit chair for the Minnesota Newspaper Guild “That’s when it had the greatest impact on us.”
Royce, the newspaper’s theatre critic, noted that the newspaper’s exit from bankruptcy means that the workers and their contracts no longer are afforded certain protections by the bankruptcy court.
“We’re out in the wild west now,” he said.
“There was no rejoicing. It was, now we’re on to the next challenge.”
“Far from relief, there’s the trepidation that now we’re out there trying to make a profit,” he said.
On the other hand, Royce noted, “we’re 142 years old. We’ve operated for 141 years like that.”
Royce said he heard no talk of further newsroom staff reductions during the waning days of the bankruptcy court’s authority. Still, he added, “I’m concerned there would be staff reductions,” even despite any evidence cuts are coming.
“If you don’t have that concern, you’re just not being aware of all the possibilities,” he said.
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