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Philadelphia Newspapers’ Owner Threatens Shutdown If Unions Don’t Give Cutbacks

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The owner of the Inquirer, Daily News, and says it may liquidate operations if it doesn’t reach new contracts with its labor unions by next Friday.

Interstate General Media wants cost-cutting tentative agreements with all eleven unions by January 18th.

Without those agreements, the company has threatened to liquidate or sell off the papers, according to Dan Gross, president of the Newspaper Guild, the papers’ largest union.

Ten union deals expired last October, but the Guild has a contract in place until October of 2013.  Gross says this surprise deadline, a week away, doesn’t mean the Guild will reopen its contract.

“The idea that they’re going to force us into early bargaining and early concessions simply because they want to, to me is an offensive concept,” Gross tells KYW Newsradio, “and it’s not something that we’re planning to entertain.”

Gross says the company is seeking $8 million in wages and concessions from the Newspaper Guild’s approximately 550 members.

A spokesman for IGM — which bought the properties last April — declined to comment.

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