CHICAGO – The Seattle Times Co. is leaping into confrontation with the Teamsters Union over its plans to outsource bulk delivery of the two dailies on Feb. 29.
The Times Co., which runs business, circulation, and production operations for its flagship and Hearst Corp.’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer, notified 71 workers at its North Creek distribution center in Bothell, Wash., that they will be laid off that day, one day after the Teamster contract expires, according to Editor & Publisher.
Truck delivery of the newspapers will be turned over to Penske Logistics Inc., according to terms of a letter of intent between the Times Co. and the truck fleet leasing company. There is no definitive agreement yet, the Times said.
The outsourcing is separate from the company’s announced plans to cut expenses by some $27 million. In a recent memo to employees, Times Co. Publisher Frank Blethen said the paper expects to lose $33 million in 2007 and 2008.
Under the company outsourcing plan, the Times Co. would try to ensure that about half of the laid off union-represented drivers, garage workers, and managers would be hired by Penske.