Tronc looking for new head of labor relations

Tronc is looking for a new director of labor relations, and one of the job responsibilities will be “maintaining the non-union status of the unorganized employee population.”

That’s according to a listing on its own job board. Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, owner of the Chicago Tribune, the Daily News and eight other dailies, has traditionally been anti-union — but has seen a wave of union drives sweep its newsrooms in the past year.

The company also is apparently ready to resume talks with the Daily News drivers that were broken off on August 29. The new meeting is set for Thursday.

The Newspaper and Mail Deliverers Union, representing about 120 drivers, cut the amount of money it is seeking in a buyout to $250,000 per driver for two thirds of its drivers — plus a new four- year deal for those remaining.

Meanwhile, after initially refusing, Tronc appears to have reversed itself and agreed to accept the Tidewater Media Guild as the bargaining agent for journalists at the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk and the Daily Press in Newport News. About 83 percent of eligible employees had submitted pledge cards supporting the union.

Before the Los Angeles Times was sold to health care billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, journalists at the paper voted in January to unionize with the NewsGuild.

The Chicago Tribune newsroom also voted to unionize for the first time in its 171-year history and Tronc agreed in May to recognize it as the bargaining agent, but has yet to hammer out an agreement. That responsibility will probably fall on the new labor relations director.

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