The Providence Journal owners ask for overtime pay exemption

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CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s labor department is considering a request from the owners of The Providence Journal to exempt the daily newspaper industry from state laws requiring overtime pay for Sunday and holiday work.

The Providence Journal reports union leaders urged the department Thursday to say no. Newspaper employees, like most Rhode Island workers, receive overtime pay on Sundays and holidays.

Journal leaders say that’s costing the company $300,000 annually, and giving newspapers in Massachusetts, where extra Sunday pay isn’t required, an advantage in competing for commercial printing clients.

Union leaders and Journal employees said at the hearing that parent company GateHouse Media is trying to profit at workers’ expense.

The public comment period runs through Oct. 27.

Rhode Island exempts some workers from overtime rules, including airport car rental workers and taxi drivers.