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Seattle Newspaper Strike Continues

December 18, 2000

SEATTLE (AP) _ Employees on strike against the city’s two daily newspapers continued walking picket lines Monday despite weekend contract talks.

As the strike entered its 28th day, the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild scheduled an evening membership meeting for decisions ``to guide the direction of the strike,″ a Guild bulletin said.

Negotiators for the Guild and The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer had hoped for a settlement during the weekend.

Talks between both sides with federal mediator Jeff Clark lasted most of the day Saturday and Sunday.

Clark had asked both sides to refrain from discussing the negotiations publicly. Calls to Clark and the Guild were not immediately returned Monday.

``No news from him (mediator) must mean there is no news,″ Times spokeswoman Kerry Coughlin said Monday.

On Sunday, the Times and P-I resumed charging for newspapers for the first time since the strike began Nov. 21.

At issue are wages and benefits, especially for lower-paid members working in advertising and circulation. Most of the 1,059 Guild-represented workers are at the Times, which handles advertising and distribution for both papers under a 1983 joint operating agreement.

The newspapers’ last offer included an hourly raise of $3.30 over six years. Minimum pay for a reporter with six years’ experience has been $844.88 per week, or $21.12 per hour. A first-year customer-service representative had earned as little as $421 a week and top scale for a newspaper librarian was about $636.

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On the Net:

Times: http://www.seattletimes.com

Post-Intelligencer: http://www.seattlep-i.com

Guild: http://www.nwguild.org

Guild newspaper: http://www.unionrecord.com

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