Thomson Reuters Union Taking Its Complaint to the Streets
The union representing U.S.-based employees at Thomson Reuters Corp. today launched a multimedia campaign that asks whether the company’s imposition of nearly 10 percent in pay cuts on its journalists and other employees will reduce the quality of Reuters news and information.
In its press release, the union announced that billboard trucks will roll daily through Manhattan’s financial district and midtown with the message: “Reuters is bad news for its employees. Is it bad for your bottom line?” The billboards refer readers to reutersexposed.com for information about the profitable global media company’s refusal to continue contract talks with the Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents about 420 of the company’s journalists, technicians and support staff throughout the country.
The Guild also launched a targeted online campaign informing Thomson Reuters financial clients about the dispute and questioning whether the company’s strategy of attacking its staff would hurt news quality.
Union officials said that Thomson Reuters is financially strong, saying that its third-quarter 2009 underlying operating profit rose 3 percent, beating analysts’ forecasts, while underlying operating profit margin rose to more than 22 percent. The union said that Thomson Reuters chief executive officer Tom Glocer was paid $36 million in 2008.
“Company managers seem oblivious to the contradiction of asking journalists to make extraordinary efforts to cover the news clients need for crucial financial decisions, while asking them and their families to make do with less,” said Guild President Bill O’Meara.
The Guild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, represents U.S.-based staff in print, photo, video, technical and related work at Thomson Reuters, which employs about 50,000 people worldwide and was formed when Thomson Corp. acquired London-based Reuters Group Plc in 2008.