Dow Jones sanctions pay freeze for 2009
NEW YORK - Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, will freeze pay for non-union staff in 2009 as the News Corporation-owned company buckles down for a turbulent new year.
In a memo to employees, Dow Jones chief executive Les Hinton said a one-year salary freeze would save money and mitigate potential jobs losses in the future.
Union-represented staff have a 3% contractual salary raise coming February 1, however Hinton wrote that Dow Jones is also seeking to freeze their salaries.
Steven Yount, a spokesman for the Independent Association of Publishers' Employees, said that current labour contract is up for negotiation in 2010, which should begin later this year.
Hinton wrote in the memo: "I know you are all well aware that the uncertainty of the broader economy touches all our businesses. We don't know how profound the problems will be, or how long they will last.
"The only prudent course is to continue managing all expenses aggressively until we can see more clearly where we are headed."
Dow Jones is one of many large publishers preparing for a challenging 2009 as advertising revenue continue to fall.
In December, the New York Times announced a similar salary freeze to its non-union employees.
McClatchy, publisher of 30 regional daily US newspapers including The Kansas City Star, implemented an across the board salary freeze in August 2008.
This week, journalists at Thomson Reuters rejected the company's latest salary offer, which its union said did not reflect the "extremely difficult" year its staff had in 2008.
Thomson Reuters offered its employees a 1.25% across-the-board raise with an extra 1.25% available as a performance-based bonus.
The head of the union said "the below-inflation offer is effectively a large pay cut". Negotiations are ongoing.
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