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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

PERS talks shelved

A huge investment in anti-competitive politics

The Oregonion has learned that the sit-down slated to resolve the simmering PERS issue has been shelved. Disgruntled Oregonian reporters and representatives of the labor group Our Oregon were to have met with at least one management member from the statewide monopoly daily and dominant news organ, in an attempt to short-circuit the labor-management dispute.

Our Oregon's radio spots are depicting the delay as a routine holiday interruption, but a senior reporter at The Oregonian, speaking on condition of anonymity, divulged that management is in total disarray and nobody really knows what's going on.

The Oregonian's M-SS issue spokesperson - Oregon Medical Association President Andris Antoniskis, M.D. - would not comment on the status of the Managing Editor who had first agreed to the sit-down, but who was later removed from office by medical experts and taken to OHSU.

Workers are unhappy because management unilaterally imposed rules requiring the forced use of certain colloquialisms - even those with which writers and copyeditors disagree (such as using "a" instead of "per" in units of measure.) The workers are disgruntled that their influence in Style Guide issues was essentially terminated without negotiation. Leaders of the uprising described management's PERS move as "an unacceptable giveback."

Management corps have been decimated as the condition dubbed "Multiple-Standard Syndrome" has swept ranking editors from 1320 SW Broadway into OHSU for quarantine and treatment involving a California genetics company. At least four editors have received implanted embryonic stem cells in a highly controversial procedure.

The comic strip Doonesbury recently featured the story, describing editors of The Oregonian as "guinea pigs in a lab experiment being conducted by out-of-state interests."

Portland pollster Adam Davis disclosed that surveys showed management had fumbled its incumbent advantage and labor has gained considerable momentum, as evidenced by Our Oregon's seat at the table.

Davis cautioned against putting too much stock in the labor group's ad message that sitting down at this time of year is rare, saying, "Clearly the elections were a mandate to increase government spending and repair the political infrastructure that has been systematically torn apart by competitive forces introduced in the 1990s. The Oregonian and the Newhouse family have made a huge investment in anti-competitive politics and we are in a crucial pre-session organizing mode right now. Anyone not moving forward is really falling behind."

Neither Oregonian Publisher Fred Stickel nor Therese Bottomly, the remaining Managing Editor, returned phone and email inquiries from The Oregonion.

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