Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lee Enterprises eliminates more Post-Dispatch retiree benefits

The retiree health benefit saga continues at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

On Tuesday, St. Louis Newspaper Guild members who retired and accepted buyout offers between June 2004 and March 2010 were notified that their free medical coverage, which was part of their union contract, will be eliminated on Jan. 1; the retirees will have to pay all of their premium costs to keep their health insurance.

A few years ago, Lee Enterprises made the same announcement that affected guild members who retired under a previous contract, between 1994 and 2004. The St. Louis Newspaper Guild filed suit against Lee. The guild won that suit in late September; the judge ruled that those retirees should get to keep their lifelong health benefits that were guaranteed in their union contract. required Lee to go to arbitration with the union. Lee is expected to appeal the decision.

The guild says it will fight the latest benefit cut as well.

(Via e-mails; send tips, links and memos to lee.ent.watch@gmail.com.)

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