NEW YORK -- The Daily News pressmen yesterday became the third union to vote to approve a contract with British publisher Robert Maxwell while the tabloid's editorial workers debated the wisdom of signing a contract that slashes jobs but saves the paper.
The pressmen overwhelmingly voted for a settlement that will mean the loss of nearly half their 400 jobs. The photoengravers and the machinists unions already have approved their contracts and the rank and file of the remaining six unions are expected to vote this week. The agreements Maxwell is offering will trim 800 out of a total unionized workforce of 2,300, through employee buyouts and layoffs.
"This is a big union victory," said Jack Kennedy, president of the pressmen, minutes after emerging from a three-hour session where members applauded the sale of the newspaper, which brought an end to the often bitter four-month strike.
Kennedy said his members were ready to go back to work Wednesday night to put out Thursday's paper.