The new contract with the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees (IAPE), which covers 1,600 employees, includes provisions that require health-care premium payments from the employees for the first time. Workers at Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, have been without a labor contract for the past 15 months. The new contract expires in 2007, according to a news release.
In addition to increases in health-care premiums, employees also got a pay raise. The new contract boosts wages 2.5% in 2004, 3.25% in 2005 and 3.5% in 2006. Workers received no retroactive pay increases for 2003.
Dow Jones also announced that it will make $1,000 lump sum payments to approximately 2,600 eligible nonunion employees which, when added to the $1,000 bonus that the Company paid to nonunion employees in December 2003, will equal the lump-sum payments for IAPE represented employees under the tentative agreement.
The contract is subject to a ratification vote by the union members, although the union’s board of directors has already endorsed the agreement. Dow Jones expects that the union’s ratification vote will be concluded over the next five to six weeks or so.