Guild wins victories on parking, health care

Guild secures victories on parking, health care; Management comes to the table completely unprepared with nonsensical contract packages

Update on this week’s bargaining: 

We had important victories in the areas of health care and parking the past four sessions, blocking the company from taking more money from our Guild members. But on the overall contract, Berkshire Hathaway has come completely unprepared and has been obtrusive and illogical. 

Simple things like a bulletin board and vacation policy are being dangled as package deals in the futile hopes that we’ll give up our rights to: 

  • Ensure that Nebraskans, or, for that matter, humans, produce your newspaper. The company will not commit to refusing to use outsourced news contractors (like those who are based in the Philippines and write stories from city council minutes). And they won’t commit to not using Artificial Intelligence-written stories. 
  • Ensure that the Omaha World-Herald’s archives are preserved. 

The latter was this week’s most ridiculous road bump. 

Berkshire Labor relations director Ali Zoibi said the company, in the event that the newspaper is sold, did not want to commit to preserving our archives — the historical record of Omaha, Nebraska and western Iowa. “We don’t know what the future will hold,” he said, vaguely. 
We countered by adding language that essentially said: In the event that the newspaper is sold, the company and/or the Guild will ensure that our archives are preserved. 

In other words: If the company doesn’t want to pay to preserve it; the Guild will.

Zoibi, on behalf of Berkshire Hathaway, said he wasn’t  even interested in that. Seems pretty clear Berkshire Hathaway and Lee Enterprises don’t want to commit to preserving archives for our readers because a) it might cost money or b) they might be able to make money off of it by selling it to a third-party, someday. 

Just another example of the out-of-state, careless wrongheadedness that sits across from us. 

Mark our words: No contract will be passed without assurances that our hard work — and the hard work of our predecessors — is preserved for Nebraskans and Iowans forever. 

We’re back at it in January. Happy holidays to everyone. 

In solidarity, 

The OWH Guild bargaining team