"We welcome our new members from the NMDU," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President.
"Founded in 1901, NMDU members deliver bulk newspapers for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, The Star-Ledger of Newark, New York Post, El Diario, America Oggi, The Jersey Journal of Jersey City, and other papers," the release stated.
With negotiations set for the third straight day, Journal Editor in Chief Steven Newhouse said at midday on Friday, "I have more optimism than before." And the NMDU
's Bentvena echoed, "We're not looking to walk away from the paper.
It expected the cost of the NMDU buyouts and benefits to be about $14 million.
Imperatore's existing delivery operation, Imperial Delivery Co., has a union contract with a Teamsters local but hired non-union workers to replace the NMDU drivers.
He said there was a "potential" other area newspapers would seek similar reductions from their NMDU drivers.
If the vote takes place as scheduled, all 2,900 NMDU members will be eligible to vote on five contracts, whether they are covered by the contracts or not.
The tentative agreements are supported by three intermediaries selected by the NMDU, as well as NMDU president Douglas LaChance and the union's executive board.
Despite union leadership support and the grim alternative of more labor strife, dissenters within the union oppose the agreements and NMDU president Douglas LaChance.
The NMDU represents the drivers who work for the distributors as well as the drivers who work directly for the Times and the other city papers.
Because the transactions were assets sales, the new owners are not legally required to honor existing NMDU contracts.
Imperatore and the Times negotiated with the NMDU and reached a tentative agreement that was supported by union president LaChance.