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Keep the Monterey Herald as a Valuable Community Resource
by Petition via Pacific Media Workers Guild
Sunday May 4th, 2014 10:05 AM
For generations, the Monterey Herald has served as a resource for your community, chronicling readers’ achievements and struggles while standing guard as a watchdog over public servants.
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Petitioning Digital First Media to keep the Monterey Herald as a valuable community resource by improving conditions for employees by approving a new contract with their union

Petition by
Phillip Molnar
Monterey, CA

For generations, the Monterey Herald has served as a resource for your community, chronicling readers’ achievements and struggles while standing guard as a watchdog over public servants.

But over the years, various owners have chipped away at that resource with layoffs and reductions in size and content. The paper is now owned by billionaire Randall Smith and his vulture hedge fund Alden Global Capital. The New York City-based group, which has incorporated its distressed asset fund in the Cayman Islands, is aggressively selling off The Herald's assets and laying off employees.

The staff at the Monterey Herald, represented by the Pacific Media Workers Guild, is fighting to retain the integrity of this community resource.

The Herald has lost people who today could and should be serving as the community’s eyes and ears, covering agriculture, water issues and the cities of Monterey County. So much is not being reported because the paper is without resources after years of merciless cuts. In 2005, the newsroom had 12 reporters covering the county. Now, due to layoffs and attrition, six reporters struggle to cover the same beats.

All of the copy editors who live and work in our community have just been laid off, their jobs shipped to Chico where your newspaper is now produced from a centralized hub. The new production schedule and deadlines have increased pressure in local reporters and remaining local editors.

Longtime, respected editor Royal Calkins was replaced by the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s editor, who must run two newsrooms in dissimilar communities. Your community’s editorial page, once tended by Calkins, is now without an editor. And The Herald’s much-beloved entertainment editor, reporter and columnist Mac MacDonald is the latest casualty of this incessant downsizing.

All we are asking of the paper’s owners is to invest in The Herald and the employees who bring the news to the communities we serve.

For six years, Herald employees have made sacrifices and endured shrinking paychecks because we are committed to bringing the news to our readers. We’ve accepted a wage freeze in our last three-year contract, along with unpaid furloughs that amounted to a 2 percent loss of income for each week furloughed.

Today we are in negotiations for a new contract. We're asking nothing more than a modest cost of living increase and a fair severance package for those laid off in the future. The company has refused both.

We ask the community to stand by us in this time, out of fairness to Herald employees who strive to produce a quality newspaper for our readers and to defend this community resource. Ask our petition for a fair contract.

Sign petition:
http://www.change.org/petitions/digital-first-media-to-keep-the-monterey-herald-as-a-valuable-community-resource-by-improving-conditions-for-employees-by-approving-a-new-contract-with-their-union
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Friends of Monterey Herald union workers on Facebookvia Pacific Media Workers GuildSunday May 4th, 2014 10:14 AM