Saturday, January 12, 2002

17 Enquirer employees sue paper

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Cincinnati Enquirer and its parent company are being sued by a group of 17 employees who contend the company is violating an agreement guaranteeing “continuous employment.”

        The composing room employees have been offered a buyout because of company plans to automate the way the paper is produced.

        According to the suit filed Friday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, the employees have been with the newspaper between 30 and 53 years and are covered by a 1972 agreement that promises employment until retirement.

        The lawsuit states that none of the men has received a raise in 17 years and that they have been excluded from the company's retirement program.

        The employees have been offered $50,000 buyouts each, the lawsuit states. If the employee is fired before the buyout payment is due, he will not receive the money, the lawsuit charges.

        The group's attorney, Stan Chesley, has demanded that the Enquirer and its parent company, Gannett, be made to adhere to the existing agreement and be prohibited from firing any employees in the suit after implementation of the new system.

        Enquirer President and Publisher Harry Whipple said: “We'll review the complaint by the composing room employees and will respond at the appropriate time.”


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