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Teamsters Cite Broken Promises in S. Rosenthal and Company Closure

Press release from the issuing company

CINCINNATI, Oct. 26 -- After promises in 2003 to keep their printing plant in Cincinnati in exchange for health coverage concessions from workers, S. Rosenthal and Company has decided to close the plant and relocate operations in Tennessee. The move of the company, with strong ties in the Cincinnati community for more than 135 years, will cost 150 local residents their jobs. The workers, represented by Teamster Locals 508-M, 1717 and 100, staunchly rejected demands from the company for excessive economic concessions, including wage cuts of up to 10 dollars per hour in order to keep the plant open. The three local unions had formed a joint negotiating committee to conduct decision bargaining with the company when the plant closing was announced, but the company was unwilling to compromise on their expectation that the workers would shoulder the bulk of $2.1 million in concessions. "This plant did not have to close. New job requests are coming in the door daily and the workers are putting in compulsory overtime," said Jim Elkins, Vice President of Local 508-M. "We are willing to bargain fairly and in good faith with the management, but their demands are unreasonable. It never fails to amaze me at the way which companies will turn their backs on the very people and communities that keep them in business." The company publishes magazines such as Reach Magazine, In Touch, Housetrends, Hack's High School Sports and Great Golf. The company decided to move the Cincinnati operations to Tennessee after the Tennessee facility lost TV Guide production, which was its sole account. The Cincinnati plant was still profitable and workers had been promised the loss of the TV Guide account would not affect their plant. "It is obvious the move was already on the horizon because it offered the company a chance to increase profits with non-union workers. Their earning average is more than four dollars per hour less than the Cincinnati workers," said Elkins. "They knew their demands were excessive and would not be accepted, giving them an excuse to close the plant. The company's desire to increase profits overshadowed a concern for the workforce." "This is another example of businesses becoming successful in Cincinnati thanks to loyal workers and community support. In turn, the companies show no loyalty to their workers or the community," said David Grabhorn, Vice President of the Teamsters Graphic Communication Conference. "They have no qualms about moving to Tennessee for lower wages, and they'll move to Mexico or China if they can get workers even cheaper. Once again Ohio workers will pay the price for increased profits to the company."