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Jim Tyree has now lined up every last duck. Tyree wanted a guarantee of labor peace before he and his investment group would buy the Sun-Times Media Group, and on Friday the last of the unions, Chicago Typographical Union Local 16, six printers strong, agreed to terms.
The wrinkle was that those six printers had been guaranteed work until they retired or died. Local president Steve Berman didn't explain how that guarantee was squared with Tyree's demand for maximum managerial flexibility, but he said "contract modifications" were agreed that reflected the "honest desire" of both sides to maintain the "balance of fairness." His announcement said, "Although reaching the agreement took longer than the other 16 union bargaining units, the interests of both parties were far more complicated, weighing the new company's continued rights for full work flexibility, against the workers rights to continued employment guaranteees."