Union accuses Thomson Reuters of illegal pay cuts

A labor union has filed a complaint against Thomson Reuters Corp. alleging the financial information and news service is illegally imposing pay cuts and restricting what workers can write on their Twitter accounts. In a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the Newspaper Guild of New York charges that Thomson Reuters plans to cut wages of reporters and other employees by an average of 10 percent this year without the union’s consent. Thomson Reuters disputed the figure Friday, saying it is guaranteeing a 0.5 percent salary increase for the more than 400 U.S. journalists represented by the union at its Reuters News service. The conflicting figures provided by the union and Thomson Reuters’ management reflect the acrimony underlying their talks on a new contract. Other media companies, mostly newspapers, have been lowering wages and requiring unpaid furloughs during the past year as a severe advertising slump dried up their main source of revenue. The Newspaper Guild contends Reuters hasn’t been hit as hard because it isn’t as dependent on advertising as newspapers. The complaint also alleges that Thomson Reuters hasn’t followed proper procedures for drawing up its policy governing its employees’ use of Twitter, a popular online tool for broadcasting messages of up to 140 characters. Thomson Reuters bars its workers for posting anything “that would damage the reputation of Reuters News or Thomson Reuters.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100205/ap_on_bi_ge/us_thomson_reuters_labor_complaint

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