Union uses WSJ relaunch to counter Dow Jones

NEW YORK: Dow Jones' contract dispute with a union is threatening to mar the parent company's publicity push for its January relaunch and redesign of The Wall Street Journal.

NEW YORK: Dow Jones' contract dispute with a union is threatening to mar the parent company's publicity push for its January relaunch and redesign of The Wall Street Journal.

The union, the Independent Association of Publishers Employees (IAPE) local 1096, purchased an ad in the rival New York Times on the day of the WSJ's relaunch charging the management of parent company Dow Jones with hurting the paper's quality through layoffs and tough contract demands.

Steven Yount, the union's president, said that the ad attracted "a couple dozen" supportive e-mails from Journal readers. But he added the union's most public attack on Dow Jones' reputation to date is not part of a larger strategy to weaken the company during contract negotiations.

"I don't want anybody to ever have the idea that when we question these [management] decisions, that we are doing anything to damage the reputation of the Wall Street Journal," he said.

Yount said the union will not pursue a strategy of turning readers against Dow Jones unless it feels that it has no other options.

Dow Jones corporate communications head Howard Hoffman said only that "It's our intent to conduct these discussions at the bargaining table, and, of course, in good faith."

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