DOJ and FTC need to scrutinize news mergers

Yesterday The NewsGuild-CWA submitted comments to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission on their “merger guidelines.” Both agencies use these guidelines to evaluate the effect a merger or acquisition might have on competition within individual sectors of the economy. 

“Local news is being murdered by private equity and hedge funds gobbling up and shutting down news organizations,” said NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss. “The federal government needs to wake up and prevent the takeover and destruction of local news.”

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Photo of Jon Schleuss in front of Pittsburgh skyline

Happy Labor Day 2023!

Happy Labor Day!

Hopefully you’re off today and taking time today to reflect on the struggles we face as working people.

I’m writing to you from Pittsburgh where I’m supporting our members at the Post-Gazette, who have been on strike for the last 11 months. Workers here are holding their employer to account, demanding they follow federal labor law and provide affordable health insurance to their colleagues. This is a difficult fight, but I know we will win it.

Workers across the NewsGuild, from media, to interpreters, nonprofit workers and labor movement activists are making sure we hold the line and do whatever it takes to get the respect we deserve in the workplace.

Our members who work in the labor movement face their own threats. For example, the staff at the AFL-CIO has faced death by a thousand cuts even though the federation has raked in more dues from affiliate members. It’s time for those workers to finally get a decent wage and protections for their healthcare and retirement.

In the time since last year’s Labor Day more than 1,100 workers have unionized with us from Condé Nast, Cityside, SEIU Healthcare Michigan, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, ProPublica and many more workplaces. And we’ve gone on strike A LOT.

In 2022, 21 newsrooms went on strike for one day or longer, demanding first contracts and for their employer to follow the law. So far in 2023, 28 newsrooms have gone on strike.

Currently workers are on strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and TVO, the provincial public broadcaster in Ontario. TVO workers are demanding fair pay to keep up with inflation and protections from temporary work. TVO workers have a righteous fight on their hands as they hold the line alongside all Guild members.

And we’re getting solidarity from other unions, from the United Steelworkers, to SEIU, to the Teamsters and CUPE in Canada. Workers from other unions have stood on our picket lines and supported our causes.

It seems we are under attack in almost every single workplace. But we are fighting back.

And we have more power than we know.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day this year and continue to build a union of love and compassion for your colleagues and our society.

In solidarity,

Education Week Union logo

Education Week workers announce union campaign

The staff of Education Week took a major step this week toward forming a union as they seek to ensure a more transparent and equitable workplace.  

Reporters, visual artists, digital and engagement specialists, marketing and advertising professionals, and other employees across Education Week signed cards stating their desire to be represented by the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild. On Tuesday morning, employees asked EdWeek’s senior leadership to voluntarily recognize their union—a collaborative approach that many other media organizations have taken. 

But that evening, EdWeek’s senior leadership informed employees that they had rejected their request for voluntary recognition. Employees will now secure recognition by pursuing an election monitored by the National Labor Relations Board.   

“Employees from departments across our organization have come together to say we deserve a seat at the table—a change that can only make Education Week stronger,” said Sarah Schwartz, a staff writer for Education Week. “To do the kind of work that can inspire and empower the education field, we must advocate for ourselves as well. A union will preserve our ability to deliver the high-quality journalism that Education Week readers have relied on for more than 40 years. We’re disappointed that management rejected our request for voluntary recognition, but we’re confident that our strong majority can win an election.”

The NewsGuild-CWA would represent nearly 50 employees of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week, a top nationwide source of news, research, and analysis. Many EdWeek employees say their job is the most fulfilling and meaningful of their careers. Some have stayed at the organization for decades, in part because of the strong relationships they have developed with their colleagues and their respect for senior leadership.

But in recent years, the company has lost many valuable and longtime employees, in part due to stagnant salaries and a lack of opportunities for career advancement. These losses have been particularly detrimental toward the company’s goal of having a diverse workforce: Education Week currently has no Black reporters or editors.

“I fear we aren’t effectively retaining our talented employees or are missing out on a wealth of great prospective employees, because some of our wages haven’t kept up with the rising cost of living,” said Hayley Hardison, a social media producer for EdWeek. She noted that the D.C. metro area has among the highest costs of living in the nation.

While EdWeek senior leadership has recently taken steps toward addressing some of these concerns, employees say they want more of a voice and more transparency in decisionmaking. 

“I believe in the EdWeek Union because I believe in my coworkers,” Hardison said. “I believe in pay equity, managerial transparency, diversity, inclusion, and our right to a seat at the table. I trust that we can hold fair, effective negotiations with our management as we all share the same underlying goal: to advance EdWeek’s mission of empowering K-12 educators with trusted news and insights. I believe that a union will protect all that I love about EdWeek by ensuring that all whom I love at EdWeek are taken care of.”

A mission statement drafted and signed by employees interested in affiliation with the NewsGuild says: “The EdWeek Union’s goal is to strengthen and preserve the best parts of our company—namely, our supportive and family-friendly culture—which lay the foundation for our ability to produce deep, nuanced, and revelatory journalism. The EdWeek Union is fighting for equitable pay, progressive family leave, fair remote work policies, and the continued commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

For interviews with Education Week staff, please email

About the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild:

The Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild includes more than 2,500 workers at news outlets, nonprofits, and labor organizations. Other notable units include the Washington Post, Bloomberg Industry Group, AFL-CIO, the Baltimore Sun, and Inside Higher Ed. WBNG is a local of The NewsGuild-CWA, which is a sector of the Communications Workers of America.

TVO workers on strike in Toronto on August 21, 2023

TVO members begin strike today

Jeanne d’Arc Umurungi
Communications Director, CMG

The Canadian Media Guild announced that TVO workers walked off the job today on a legal strike. “We are deeply saddened to have not been able to reach a fair and reasonable agreement with our employer,” CMG said in a statement. Annick Forest, President of the Canadian Media Guild and Meredith Martin CMG-TVO branch President are available to comment.

Workers feel they are being forced to take job action that will interrupt services the public relies on, such as The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO Today’s Ontario-focused journalism, children’s programming, and online courses used by teachers in schools across the province.

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Cal Matters Guild

CalMatters staff announce unionization, joining news nonprofits organizing across U.S.


SACRAMENTO, CA – The staff of CalMatters, the award-winning nonprofit journalism outlet covering California politics and policy, announced Tuesday that they are forming a union to preserve and protect a robust, equitable and thriving newsroom.

An overwhelming majority, 92% of non-management staff, have signed cards authorizing union representation by The Pacific Media Workers Guild, NewsGuild-CWA Local 39521. They are asking CalMatters leadership to voluntarily recognize the CalMatters Guild as a unit of the Communication Workers of America.

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Screenshot of a Zoom call with members of the newly formed ProPublica Guild

ProPublica Guild wins voluntary recognition

On Thursday, the employees of ProPublica won voluntary recognition of their union, the ProPublica Guild. The union — which secured support from 97% of eligible staff members — is wall-to-wall, covering editorial, business and operations departments at the largest nonprofit newsroom in the country.

“This is a momentous day for ProPublica. We look forward to writing a strong collective bargaining agreement that will help set the standard for newsrooms throughout the industry. We are immensely proud to join together in solidarity with our unionized colleagues to fight for a better future for newsroom employees everywhere,” graphics editor Lucas Waldron said. 

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TVO-CMG members pose near the Toronto sign in June 2023 during the Canadian Media Guild convention.

CMG members overwhelmingly reject TVO’s latest offer and are ready to strike

Canadian Media Guild (CMG) members at TVO have spoken, providing a strong strike mandate to their bargaining team: 95.8% of members have rejected their employer’s latest offer and indicated they are ready to strike if necessary. This is a strong mandate. It does not mean we are currently on strike, nor have we set a date to walk out. We are still hoping to negotiate an agreement and avoid a strike. But our message to TVO and the Ford government is clear:

Continue reading “CMG members overwhelmingly reject TVO’s latest offer and are ready to strike”

We’re looking for an organizer to support legislative efforts and journalists

Journalists and media workers have unionized in the United States at a record pace. At the same time news companies have cut jobs, putting the country’s democracy at risk.  

The NewsGuild-CWA, a sector of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), seeks a campaign lead to channel the energy of our members, community supporters and policy stakeholders into winning legislative initiatives that support the follow demands:

Common Good Demands

  • Staff that is Adequate in Number – Hiring: In the last decade thousands of papers have shut their doors and half of all journalist jobs have disappeared. Existing newsroom staff have been cut to the bone and current workers are doing too much with too little – at Gannett outlets media workers are producing top-tier journalism in lowest-tier conditions. Gannett must immediately increase hiring into newsrooms across the country and make real a commitment to local journalism and local journalists.
  • Diverse in Perspective – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: In-depth, committed local news coverage requires newsrooms that have a diversity of views, cultures, and perspectives. As Gannett hires across the chain it must seek to create newsrooms diverse in perspective and skilled in navigating the communities being covered.
  • Developing Expertise in Craft – Sustainable Jobs: Gannett must commit to sufficient compensation to enable media workers to live and thrive in the communities they cover. The sustained deep and vital connections required to produce in-depth local news, the experience and training that feeds that growth, can exist only if media workers have secure jobs and fair compensation. Additionally, media workers must be afforded the benefits and paid-time off that support healthy work-life balance.

The position is initially slated to last a year but is subject to possible extension.

The ideal candidate will have experience running multiple organizing campaigns with professional workers. They will have the organizational and strategic skills necessary to inspire and activate workers to take action.

The position will report to The NewsGuild-CWA leadership and the CWA Organizing Director, coordinating regularly with senior campaign leads. The position can be based anywhere. It is currently remote but will involve regular travel once it is safe to do so.

Job Qualifications:

  • Willing and able to take regular direction and learn from experienced campaign staff
  • Willing to commit, energy, heart and long, irregular hours
  • Ability to learn and implement the campaign basics
  • Be able to take notes, listen and get information/report back to campaign leadership to evaluate campaigns
  • Ability to assess workers’ support of the campaign, identify potential committee members, move workers to make concrete commitments and take action, recruit people to a committee, facilitate committee meetings, work with groups.
  • Understand and discuss issues in a way that contribute to the momentum of an organizing campaign.
  • Have a fundamental commitment to building a diverse and democratic labor movement and ability to organize workers from diverse backgrounds and demographics.
  • Willing to attend an Organizing Institute
  • Basic communications skills, able to do basic flyers and other written material
  • Strong social, written and verbal communication skills
  • Motivated self-starter able to learn and troubleshoot without heavy supervision
  • Driver’s license and reliable car, must be able to travel to work locations away from home/office location.
  • 1-2 years (2 years preferable) of prior labor, political or community organizing experience
  • Patient in pressure situations and savvy with conflict management
  • Bilingual, a plus

Responsibilities when employed in an Organizing campaign:

  • Ability to assess
    support of the union or campaign, identify potential committee members, move workers to make concrete commitments and take action, recruit people to a committee, facilitate committee meetings, work with groups
  • Understand and discuss issues in a way that contribute to the momentum of a campaign
  • Utilize numerous organizing tactics including home-visiting, cold phone
    calling, hand billing, etc.
  • Have a fundamental commitment to building a diverse and democratic movement and ability to organize workers and citizens from diverse backgrounds and demographics
  • Along with campaign leadership, be able to work effectively with committee members
    • assist with moving campaigns to stage 3, i.e., an NLRB election or voluntary recognition campaign
    • keep the organizing committee on track
    • motivate them to move through roadblocks and be public when it is time
    • give them a realistic assessment of progress and inoculate them
  • Work with the local to help identify and encourage others in local to participate in organizing campaigns and build support for organizing
  • Along with the District Organizing Coordinator, be able to help develop and implement a local organizing plan
  • Submit reports as required, but at least monthly
  • Must be able to work on projects to build the local, but also be able to assist in national and district organizing projects.
  • Be heavily involved in major National and District Organizing Priority campaigns
  • Capable of running campaigns with minimal
    assistance, motivate and dig out committee members, work in a team with other organizers involved in the campaign
  • Be able to communicate effectively in writing, in speaking, and via electronic media.  Be able to work with data bases, able to do basic flyers and other written material
  • Able to function as a trainer at an Organizer Institute and train organizing committee members
  • Work with locals on National and District priority campaigns and help local organizers
  • Travel to work locations away from home and work location by car and plane to locations as needed
  • Computer skills that allow at least intermediate-level data management and communication

Job Specifications

Compensation: $73,617.07-$93,413.08/year depending on experience with an excellent benefits package.

The NewsGuild-CWA is an equal-opportunity employer and encourages applications from candidates who would expand the diversity of the Guild staff.