Thursday, April 14, 2011

Detroit | Vote today to help Freep employees

In late February, the Gannett-controlled Detroit newspaper publishing partnership launched a contest that will award a $5,000 prize to the employee and to a member of the public with the best ideas for boosting readership or better serving the community.

Now, Pulitzer Prize winner and union leader M.L. Elrick is using the contest to spotlight inequities in how much Gannett's Detroit Free Press pays employees and top managers. And he'd like your help -- today.

The top five finalists for the prize in each of the two categories will pitch their ideas to a group of judges, including GCI executives and the CEO of Detroit-based Domino's Pizza. "I'm hoping to explain to them that it's never worth betraying your workers for a quick gain,'' Elrick told me in an e-mail.

He is vice chairman of the Detroit Free Press Guild, which represents scores of employees at the Freep. Elrick shared a 2009 Pulitzer Prize with Jim Schaefer for their marvelous Free Press investigation of Detroit's corrupt mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick.

Elrick's proposal calls for improving morale at the papers by reducing pay for managers and raising pay for workers. "After workers agreed to take an average 6% pay cut last year, Freep Publisher Paul Anger gave managers only a 1.5% pay cut. You don't need to register to vote. You can vote until noon today."

Elrick's idea is called "We're All in This Together," and can be found on the online ballot under the title, "Justice for all."

For your vote to count, you must vote for one idea in the employee category, and one in the public category.


  1. Looks like they closed the survey after you posted this. That's one way to ensure the outcome...

  2. Wow...what a concept. Sounds like socialism to me. Another bold move by the union. Is that worth your union dues????

  3. Are you surprised that the voting was closed after this was posted? The rules state that the polls would close at noon. Maybe 2:43 you can now start chasing another consipiracy theory.

    Ciao haters!

  4. Sooo... the union leader considered asking for help when it was too late to make a difference... too busy annoying the good people of Madison?

  5. @7:14 PM: Probably. After 25 years in the industry, I have yet to hear a compelling argument as to why newsroom employees need a union. And, yes, I hate GCI management as much as the next guy.


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