Updated: 1 hour 18 min ago
StaffJune 24, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA The editorial staff of the digital and print publication Foreign Policy voted 16-1 on Thursday to join The NewsGuild-CWA. The workers will be members of the union’s Washington-Baltimore local. “Foreign Policy’s excellent journalists report on issues that are vital to our democracy and to our understanding of the world,” TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said. “They understand that our union fundamentally understands journalism and cares deeply about the integrity of the work they do. We are proud to welcome them to The NewsGuild-CWA.” Lunzer added that the Guild is extremely pleased that management at Foreign Policy has agreed to recognize the union and proceed with bargaining a first contract. In organizing their new union, the workers issued a mission statement that stressed how honored they are to work for Foreign Policy and that they believe that The NewsGuild-CWA is “a natural fit” for them. “FP is a business, and we want it to succeed as such,” they said in the statement. “A union will make the business stronger by giving workers a collective voice. We believe that guild membership will facilitate constructive, amicable, open, and honest conversations that will serve to invigorate the institution.” The following is their statement in full: “Throughout the journalism profession, workforces are choosing union representation. Rightfully so: Union membership has become a best practice for newsroom workers. We are honored to work for Foreign Policy, and to contribute to its award- winning journalism. We love our jobs. That’s why we give so much of ourselves to the publication. We believe in telling overlooked stories, holding those in power accountable, and interrogating the global forces that shape nations, institutions, cultures, and our daily lives. We are forming a union with the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, Local 32035 of the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America, because it is a natural fit for FP. The Guild is the premier media union in North America, representing 25,000 journalists and other media workers. It is also an international voice for freedom of the press, free speech, and the freedom and safety of journalists around the world. FP is a business, and we want it to succeed as such. A union will make the business stronger by giving workers a collective voice. We believe that Guild membership will facilitate constructive, amicable, open, and honest conversations that will serve to invigorate the institution. As this process unfolds, we enter new territory for FP. We do so with optimism and conviviality, in the spirit of consensus and solidarity.” -30-
Hadas GoldJune 23, 2016Politico
Politico reports on today's victory for Foreign Policy editorial employees who voted 16-1 to join the Washington-Baltimore Guild. The magazine says it will recognize the union and move forward with bargaining. FP is committed to negotiating an agreement that meets the needs of its business while ensuring we maintain a work environment that enables FP staff to continue to produce journalism of the highest quality," magazine spokeswoman Maria Ory said. In a mission statement, staff said they are honored to work for the magazine and believe the Guild is a "natural" fit. "The Guild is the premier media union in North America, representing 25,000 journalists and other media workers. It is also an international voice for freedom of the press, free speech, and the freedom and safety of journalists around the world," workers said.Featured Title: Foreign Policy Mag Editorial Employees Vote to Join NewsGuild
StaffJune 22, 2016The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Guild is rolling out a new health care benefit for members, a year after launching the highly praised telemedicine service, "Call a Doctor Plus." Now members and their families will have free 24/7 access to a licensed, professional employee assistance program (EAP) and to work/life counselors "who can provide confidential, short-term support with a wide range of personal and work/life issues," the local reports.Featured Title: Philly Rolls Out New Benefit for Members, 'HealthAdvocate'
StaffJune 17, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA NewsGuild members at The Denver Post, pictured, and around the country are fighting for quality journalism. (Photo by Patrick Traylorf/The Denver Post.) Washington, D.C. -- Digital First Media workers and advocates for responsible and quality journalism are launching a campaign today to demand investor transparency by Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that purchased Digital First Media newspapers and properties beginning in 2009. Since then, Alden has been seizing the assets of Digital First Media newspapers: selling real estate, slashing newsroom staff, and outsourcing work to drive up profits for privileged investors. Alden’s actions are affecting local and community coverage and diversity in newsrooms and on the newspapers’ editorial pages. Alden Global Capital is known as a vulture fund, and is secretive even by hedge fund standards, with money stashed in notorious tax havens around the world. Its actions are not only hurting newspaper employees but are limiting coverage of community issues and harming long-established editorial voices. Alden’s founder, Randall Smith, is a major donor to right-wing candidates and to the Republican Party. Hundreds of prominent journalists, newspaper workers, and advocates for quality journalism are petitioning Alden, demanding full transparency about the hedge fund’s investments and investors, as well as its political donations. “Alden is one of the largest newspaper owners in the United States, yet it operates as a dark web of complex business structures to hide itself from public view,” said Bernie Lunzer, president of The NewsGuild-CWA. “Alden is laying off the very journalists who’d be reporting this kind of vital information to the public. We believe the public has a right to demand complete transparency about Alden.” The campaign is using the hashtag #NewsMatters to spotlight the vital role that journalism plays in our democracy and to build more public support. “Alden can’t and shouldn’t operate in the shadows while it’s strip-mining its newspapers,” said Sara Steffens, secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America, and a former DFM employee who was laid off from her reporting position at the Contra Costa Times. “Alden should invest in these highly profitable papers so that they can properly serve their communities.” The NewsGuild-CWA represents 870 workers at 12 DFM newspaper bargaining units nationwide, 11 of which have expired contracts. Many workers haven’t had a raise for seven to 10 years. The newspapers include the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times, Monterey Herald, St. Paul Pioneer Press, The Macomb Daily and the Daily Tribune, Kingston Freeman, Pottstown Mercury, The Delaware County Times, The Trentonian, and the Norristown Times-Herald. --
Janelle HartmanJune 16, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA CWA President Chris Shelton hugs Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who helped bring the 45-day Verizon strike to and end. Photos below show Perez speaking, and his eager audience. In a speech that focused largely on the Verizon strike and the new overtime rule, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez also managed to salute the power of the press. Speaking Wednesday morning to the 2016 CWA Legislative-Political conference near Capitol Hill, Perez noted that his involvement in helping bring the 45-day Verizon strike to an end last month wasn’t “the first time I have spent a fair amount of time with CWA.” While serving on the Montgomery County Council in Maryland more than a decade ago, he said, CWA activists approached him about writing a letter to Comcast to ask the cable giant to remain neutral in the union’s organizing drive. "I thought about it for a nanosecond and I said, ‘of course,’” Perez said, recalling his days growing up in the “good union town” of Buffalo, N.Y., and having a Teamster as a surrogate father after his dad died. “So I was happy to do that,” Perez said. “I wrote the letter to Comcast, along with a colleague of mine, and this may come as a surprise to you, but they did not remain neutral in that campaign. Not only did they not remain neutral, when the dispute went to the NLRB, I was on vacation one August and I got a call from my assistant. She was very flustered.” She told him that he’d been subpoenaed by Comcast in the labor dispute. “What should we do?” she asked nervously. “I said, ‘Get me the number of the reporter from The Washington Post.’” The next day or so in the Metro section was a story about Comcast subpoenaing Perez and another county commissioner, and their reply, that they wouldn’t be bullied by the company. “And they withdrew the subpoenas,” Perez said triumphantly. The company wasn't finished with Perez, though. Executives found out he was a University of Maryland fan and invited him to the company’s box at the Comcast Center. “I can get my own tickets to Maryland games,” he told them. He described that series of events as his first CWA “foxhole,” with the most recent being the Verizon strike involving 40,000 CWA and IBEW members in the northeast. Workers had been on the picket lines for more than four weeks when Perez called both union’s presidents and Verizon’s CEO and asked if they would meet with him at the Department of Labor. Over the next 13 days, negotiating teams effectively set up camp at the DOL. “We had some good days and some bad days, but we were all in that room together,” Perez said. “What I will never forget is the passion, the commitment and the spirit of constructive engagement.” He described the final result, with many issues resolved in the union’s favor a “win-win” for both sides. For CWA and IBEW, the victory includes 1,300 new East Coast call center jobs, reversal of several outsourcing initiatives and raises totaling 10.9 percent over four years. Introducing Perez at the conference, CWA President Chris Shelton said the labor secretary’s outreach was what “began to break the logjam of the Verizon negotiations.” “I cannot over emphasize how essential he was to helping us reach an agreement. How gracious he and his staff were, when they literally opened up his offices to us and the company,” Shelton said. “Tom stuck with us into the wee hours of the night. He was effective. He was smart. He was open. He was creative. He was tough and he was honest.” Perez said he wanted CWA members to know how “exceedingly well represented” they were by CWA’s leaders, negotiators and lawyers during the talks. “Collective bargaining is sometimes messy but I’ll tell you, collective bargaining to me is one of the most important forces that has brought us the middle class in this country.” The marathon bargaining inside the DOL wasn’t the only major work going on at the time, Perez said, citing the department’s May 18 announcement of changes that will make millions more Americans eligible for overtime. The problem with the rule as it stood was that the companies were too easily able to classify workers as “management,” working them 60 or 70 hours a week with no overtime. He explained that “the threshold that separated overtime-eligible workers from overtime-exempt workers,” hadn’t been indexed for inflation. “So if we just go back to when Gerald Ford was president, and we indexed that threshold that was there in 1975 to today, the threshold would be something like $58,000 a year.” In reality, without the new rule, the threshold is “$23,000 and change,” he said. Further making a mess of things was a George W. Bush-era regulation that “took all the leverage from workers and gave it to employers. So what happened, you can now work 70 hours a week, 99 percent of your time is stocking shelves, one percent is management, and under that new ‘duties test’ you are a manager.” The changes, which go into effect Dec. 1, will help more than 13 million people by either raising their wages or giving them time that they might otherwise be spending working unpaid hours. “Middle-class jobs deserve a middle-class wage,” Perez said. “There is no freedom in working for free, my friends.”
StaffJune 16, 2016Philadelphia Inquirer
Bill Brown, a Korean War veteran who became a photojournalists for UPI and the Philadelphia Inquirer and went on to service as an international representative for the Guild, has died. In 1978 he helped striking union employees in Wilkes Barre found the Citizens' Voice, a newspaper that continues to operate to this day. His successful start-up there led to an offer to become the publisher of the Royal Oak (Michigan) Tribune where he worked in the early 1980's. He later returned to the Philadelphia area where he served as publisher of the Main Line Times.Featured Title: RIP: Bill Brown, Retired Guild Rep, Photojournalist, Publisher
Bernie Lunzer, PresidentJune 16, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA Bernie Lunzer, president of The NewsGuild-CWA made the following statement today on the issue of non-compete clauses, following Wednesday’s announcement of a settlement between Law360 and the New York attorney general’s office.
“A non-compete clause is an outrageous demand that adds insult to injury for poorly paid employees, limiting their right and ability to better themselves by seeking new challenges and higher pay. Usually we’re not talking about people with long and specialized careers, but young and less experienced workers who are trying to climb the career ladder and fully join America’s middle class. These clauses can literally derail their future success. We applaud the New York attorney general’s office for recognizing this, but we believe that changing employers’ practices will require more action. The NewsGuild-CWA is discussing a push for national legislation to put an end to these senseless clauses and the unjust limits they put on journalists and other workers.”
Peter Szekely, president of The NewsGuild of New York, also issued a statement about the settlement: Read it HERE.
For background and more about the decision, click to read a Bloomberg BNA report.
Kristen HareJune 13, 2016Poynter
A text woke Charles Minshew up early Sunday morning. "Horrible news out of Orlando," a friend from grad school texted at 6:46 a.m. Minshew, a multimedia artist at the Orlando Sentinel, was half asleep. Maybe his friend was talking about the Friday shooting of singer Christina Grimmie, he thought. He looked online. "Oh God," he responded 10 minutes later. "I just saw this." He started shaking while he was getting ready. And he thought: This can not be happening again. Four years ago, Minshew was an intern at The Denver Post. Then, he helped make an interactive timeline of the Aurora theater shooting. On Sunday, he started working from home on a timeline for the Orlando nightclub shooting. "This is not a day I thought I would live twice," he said
StaffJune 12, 2016Communications Workers of America Washington, D.C. -- The Communications Workers of America issued this statement on the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando today. The Communications Workers of America mourns the victims of the massacre in Orlando. There is no room in our country for such hatred, yet such tragedies are occurring far too often. The investigation into this tragedy is on-going. However, it’s clear that LGBTQ people were targeted by the gunman. We call on this country to replace hate with love. Shamefully, some elements already are using this horrific tragedy to push their political agenda and are condemning President Obama for his call to our nation to respect all people and all faiths. We stand with the President who has called this massacre an act of terror, in this case directed at LGBTQ Americans, and join all Americans who are sickened by the continuing carnage and loss of innocent life in our nation. We agree with the President that thoughts and prayers are not enough. We join in the demand for changes that will restore responsible gun ownership to communities across the nation.
Peter SzkeleyJune 10, 2016The NewsGuild of New York
Following today’s announcement that online publisher Gawker Media Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the aftermath of a $140 million judgment against it, NewsGuild of New York President Peter Szekely issued the following statement: "Gawker’s flight to bankruptcy protection is the culmination of an alarming new type of attack on the freedom of the press. When a billionaire finances an unrelated libel suit for sport as easily as placing a bet on a horse, we all lose. Using the power of money this way can only stifle the determined journalism that underpins our democracy. A truly free society requires journalists to be able to do their jobs, even when it offends the super-rich, without fear of triggering crippling lawsuits."
Benjamin MullinJune 10, 2016Poynter
Gawker Media, the pioneering digital media company that has become mired in seemingly endless legal entanglements at the behest of a vengeful Silicon Valley billionaire, filed for bankruptcy this afternoon. The filing is a maneuver intended to prevent Hulk Hogan — the ex-professional wrestler who earlier this year won a $140-million-plus invasion-of-privacy judgment against Gawker Media — from collecting his bounty, according to Recode's Peter Kafka. The company will now be put up for auction, with a $100 million offer from publisher Ziff Davis LLC as the opening bid.
Melissa NelsonJune 15, 2016The NewsGuild-CWA
The NewsGuild-CWA holds contracts with more than 300 media organizations in the United States and Canada. These reporter salaries (with number of years to achieve on the right) represent the minimum amounts required in Guild collective bargaining agreements based on the various experience levels at the organizations listed below. The rates were effective on or before January 1, 2016. Actual salaries may be higher based on contract provisions that allow for salary payments above these minimum levels. Click HERE to see the full chart.
Bourree LamJune 10, 2016The Atlantic
In the world of speeches, there is probably only one company that rivals the attention generated by politicians or celebrities: Apple. The company’s keynote events are legendary, and the brand’s cult status is hard to overstate—there are entire websites devoted just to rumors about the company. Jayne Benjulian became Apple’s first chief speechwriter in the 1980s. Benjulian spent six years at Apple, and she’s since become involved in various forms of writing. She’s now a poet, and her new book, Five Sextillon Atoms, contains poems that tie together American history and her own family’s. The Atlantic talked with Benjulian about her job at Apple, what makes a great speech, and her transition to poetry.
The Canadian PressJune 9, 2016J Source
The union representing Toronto Star newsroom employees says it has asked the newspaper to appoint an outside investigator to conduct an inquiry into events surrounding the death of a reporter. A memo from Steve Gjorkes on behalf of Unifor's Star unit said it wants "the third-party investigator's mandate to include workplace health and safety and harassment issues, along with company policies and practices.'' "For transparency's sake, we are calling for a third-party investigation into a newsroom tragedy,'' reads the memo. "While many of us continue to grieve the death of our colleague Raveena Aulakh, your union has listened to newsroom members and has formally asked the Toronto Star to appoint an outside investigator to conduct an inquiry into the events surrounding the tragedy.''' A Toronto Star article published online Tuesday night from public editor Kathy English said Aulakh had taken her own life. Aulakh, 42 covered the environment and was part of a National Newspaper Award winning Star project that was published in 2013.
StaffJune 9, 2016The NewsGuild of New York
An overwhelming majority of Time Inc. NewsGuild members—more than 80 percent— have voted to reject management's latest settlement offer, sending a message that we will not trade necessary contract protections for short-term monetary gains. "The language allowing those not protected by our contract to do our jobs, along with provisions that would let management assign much of our work to interns and the lowest-paid employees without giving them additional compensation, would have spelled disaster for us in the future," Unit Chair Daniel Neuburger said of the package that was voted down on June 2.
Rachel WardJune 7, 2016CBC News
The union of Canada's oldest independently owned newspaper continues to strike, opposing a contract it says is out of line with an industry seeing small salary increases. While Chronicle Herald management claims its offer is ""the richest in Atlantic Canada," CBC News finds Canadian Press and CBC reporters are higher paid. Additionally, the union stresses that issues beyond salaries are forcing workers to continue to strike.Featured Title: Canada's CBC Calls Out Chronicle Herald Lies About Salaries
Angela WoodallJune 7, 2016DFMWorkers.org
When the Loma Prieta earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, the Oakland Tribune was staffed with an arsenal of reporters, editors and photographers. Their coverage of the earthquake earned the Tribune a second Pulitzer Prize, and other awards followed. Two decades later, layoffs, buyouts and pay cuts had stripped the paper down to a fraction of its earlier size and, on April 4, 2016, a skeletal staff produced the last edition of the Oakland Tribune as a daily paper. Beginning the next day, the Tribune became a weekly insert in the newly named East Bay Times with one reporter dedicated specifically to watching over a city of close to 400,000 people. Photo by Sara Bloomberg.Featured Title: Silence and the City: How a Hedge Fund Killed Oakland's Paper
StaffJune 3, 2016Pacific Media Workers Guild
Guild members at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald rallied outside the Big Island newspaper office Thursday morning to demand a fair contract. Bargaining resumed later Thursday and was continuing Friday. Key sticking points include a random no-cause-needed drug testing — the worst proposal the Guild has ever encountered on this issue, the Pacific Media Workers report. Further, the company wants a sick leave policy that demands doctor notes and waiting periods to be paid for a health problem. “Workers should not be punished for using sick leave. It’s that simple, ” said Tom Callis, Big Island unit chair and Hawaii Vice President of the Media Workers guild local. “The company should realize its employees are its greatest asset; not liabilities.”Featured Title: Hilo Members Rally for Fair Contract, 'Aloha' Spirit from OPI
StaffJune 2, 2016The NewsGuild of New York
The New York Guild explains how the new buyout offer at The New York Times differ from the severance package for involuntary layoffs. One key difference: No medical coverage when someone is laid off. The buyout package, on the other hand, offers four months of free COBRA coverage for employees who have been at the paper less than 11 years and eight months' coverage for workers with 11 or more years on the job.
Eileen ConnellyJune 2, 2016News Media Guild
Less than three years after The Associated Press relocated its Chicago office from the downtown business center to a neighborhood featuring a pawn shop, flophouse and federal prison, the company said it will no longer pay taxi fare for staffers who work late night and early morning shifts. The Guild has asked AP to rescind the decision, pointing to Section 2 of Article 31 of the contract, which states: “The Employer will, within limits of its direct control, ensure employees’ safe passage on streets, parking lots and other areas near the office. The taxi fare decision comes as the murder rate in Chicago has soared. The New York Times wrote that as of the morning of May 27, “homicides in Chicago were up 52 percent in 2016, compared with the same period a year ago, and shootings had increased by 50 percent, though the pace of violence had slowed in recent weeks, the police said.”Featured Title: Despite Surge in Chicago Crime, AP Nixes Overnight Cab Fares