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Retired printers sue Post-Gazette over benefits

Thursday, December 16, 2010

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Three retired union printers are accusing the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and its publishing company of reneging on a promise of “no cost” lifetime medical benefits the retirees got for accepting company buyouts.

The printers filed suit in federal court Wednesday on behalf of other retirees, or their surviving spouses. The printers and their union say the company offered guaranteed lifetime employment to union members in the 1970s so members would agree to job changes dictated by technology.

Some members traded the lifetime employment guarantee when they took cash retirement buyouts they contend included a promise of “no cost” medical benefits. Starting Jan. 1, they say the paper wants to pay them a $171 monthly stipend that doesn’t cover each retirees’ $319 monthly premium.

Post-Gazette spokeswoman Tracy DeAngelo declined comment and officials with Block Communications Inc. did not immediately return comment on an e-mailed copy of the suit.