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Baltimore Sun Workers OK Contract

June 25, 2003|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Members of the Sun's newsroom union voted Tuesday to accept the newspaper's final contract offer less than an hour before the previous contract expired, officials said.

The vote was 319-102 in favor, according to the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. But the union issued a statement critical of the negotiations and the newspaper's plans to publish in the event of a strike.

"The guild member employees of the Baltimore Sun accept this contract under bitter protest," the statement said.

Charles Fancher, a spokesman for the Sun, said the paper was pleased with the vote.

"We were convinced that we had made a contract offer that was fair, that was equitable, that was the right thing for the future of the Baltimore Sun," he said.

The Sun held to proposals of a one-year wage freeze, a new merit-pay plan and the flexibility to transfer workers to new jobs.

Fancher said employees would get a $24 weekly raise in the second year. In the third year, they would get a $10 raise, with $14 a week going into a merit-pay pool, and a $10 raise in the fourth year, with $15 going into the merit pool.

The Sun is owned by Chicago-based Tribune Co., which also owns the Los Angeles Times.

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