'Save The Star' Rally Takes Aim At Management

Wage Cuts, Forced Furloughs Anger Union Members

Union workers at The Indianapolis Star gathered in downtown on Wednesday for a rally aimed to get the management’s attention.

Dozens of workers voiced their grievances about recent wage cuts, forced furloughs and a changes in the newspaper’s quality, RTV6's Chance Walser reported.

"We're not going to sit by any longer and take it," one worker said.

The union representing newspaper employees said the paper’s management has threatened to outsource production jobs to Kentucky.

The rallying members were also upset about cuts in staffing and pay since parent company Gannett Publishing acquired the paper in 2000.

"I work in a newsroom that has far fewer people than it once did. I have to admit it's tough to accept those kind of sacrifices when you see corporate executives getting million dollar bonuses,” political reporter Mary Beth Schneider said.

In a recent Gannett earnings report, executives said despite a drop in circulation and advertising revenue... the company "remains solidly profitable,” bringing in almost $100 million dollars in the third quarter.

Union President Bobby King said he wants more of that money to go to the workers and the product they work hard to publish.

"(The executives) are not spending (the money) on news coverage. We need more reporters. We need more photographers and these are things that would make the newspaper better and make it stronger. They are not willing to invest in the local community right now," King said.

Wednesday’s rally was just one part of the Save the Star campaign.

Rally organizers have also paid for billboards and radio ads, and as negotiations continue, the union hoped that the messages are heard loud and clear.

Managers at the Indy Star declined to comment about the rally during the middle of negotiations.

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