Inquirer, Daily News labor pacts in place

    New owners of Philadelphia newspapers anticipate a smooth transition when the bankrupt company changes hands Friday after Teamsters union agrees to a contract

    After working out labor contracts with the final hold-out union responsible for paper delivery, the new owners of Philadelphia’s two major daily newspapers say the transfer scheduled for Friday will go off without a hitch.

    Previously, the Teamsters union had held out to retain their pension plans. All the other unions had agreed to change their retirement benefits to 401K plans.

    The impasse with the Teamsters forced the company back into bankruptcy court and a second auction. A group of creditors won the auction for the second time. But this time around, settlement did not hinge on labor agreements.

    So after voting twice to reject the company’s contract offer, the Teamsters voted overwhelmingly to approve the new deal on Sunday.

    Bob Hall, the CEO of the incoming company Philadelphia Media Network, says it “was a very difficult process for everybody.”

    “It involved concessions and everyone doing things they may not have preferred to do,” says Hall.

    A mailers union has also reached accord with creditors buying the company.

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