Post Breaks Talks With Press Union
The New York Post walked out of negotiations with striking pressmen yesterday to protest the involvement of labor lawyer Theodore Kheel in the talks, Howard Squadron, lawyer for the Post, said yesterday.
The New York Times and the Daily News, however, continued talks with the pressmen's union under the direction of a federal mediator, Squadron added.
Rupert Murdoch, publisher of the Post and President of the Publishers Association of New York, said yesterday the Post would be "prepared to meet with the pressmen at any time," if Kheel were not involved in the negotiations.
Kheel was hired approximately three weeks ago by the Allied Printing Trades Council (APTC) to serve as an adviser to the other nine unions involved in the pressmen's strike.
The Post's objection to Kheel was that he insisted on playing the role of arbitrator, Squadron said yesterday.
Kheel denied the charge, adding that he would withdraw from the negotiations only at the request of George E. McDonald, president of APTC.
Murdoch predicted yesterday that the Times and the News would soon settle with the pressmen.
"Kheel's role in the talks means that the whole process is just a charade for a sellout by the publishers," he added. "I'm sorry that I was unable to persuade my fellow publishers of the mistake they are making."
In the last 20 years Kheel has been involved in the closing of five newspapers, the bankruptcy of several railroads as well as the bankruptcy of New York City, Murdoch said. "We don't intend to let him continue that process," he added.