Strike averted at Wall Street Journal

What was feared might be the first big staff problem facing Rupert Murdoch on his upcoming take-over of the Wall Street Journal appears to have been surmounted.

Over the weekend, union officials representing about 2,000 Journal staff, including most reporters and sub-editors, voted to recommend acceptance of a new contract. The contract would give staff a three per cent salary increase a year over the next three years plus increased health and medical benefits.

For almost a year, the terms of the new contract have created vigorous contention. A spokesman for the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, after their weekend board meeting, admitted the terms were not as good as they had hoped – but in the circumstances felt the membership should accept and endorse the agreement.

Steve Yount, president of the union, admitted he still saw problems with the proposed new contract – but felt it was the best that could be achieved in the circumstances.

There is, in fact, a provision in the contract for compensation in the event any employees lose their job because of any reorganisation following the News Corp take-over. However Rupert Murdoch has assured the staff that he is going to be hiring not firing.

To support this claim, the WSJ has announced that is planning to launch a new monthly glossy magazine entitled Pursuits – aimed at “exploring the world of wealth”.

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