NEW YORK — In the face of Reuters' proposals to reduce health benefits, U.S. employees of the news agency have given permission to call a strike, the union said today.
The Newspaper Guild said a strike was authorized by a margin of better than 20-to-1 in a vote last week among the nearly 500 Reuters reporters, technicians, computer operators and sales and clerical workers it represents.
No agreement has come in nearly a year of talks to replace a contract that expired in February.
The Guild said negotiations have stalled on "Reuters' demands that it substantially raise the cost to employees for their health insurance" while cutting maternity benefits and severance pay.
Reporters at Reuters are paid from $636 to $806 a week, and correspondents can make up to $955. Technicians' pay ranges from $617 to $697. Office assistants start at $258.