Newsletter: A scab broke a striker’s jaw in Pittsburgh

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It was 23 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday night when five Guild members joined 10 Teamsters on the picket line at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette distribution center.

We held the line in front of the center where a dwindling number of carriers collected a dwindling number of paper bundles of the scab paper to deliver them to the few remaining subscribers in Pittsburgh.

Just a week prior a strike-breaking scab truck driver broke the jaw of one of the strikers, sending him to the hospital. He’s due for surgery any day now.

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Reviewed Union - "We reviewed the options...and it's time for a union."

Lab and Operations Workers at Gannett’s Reviewed Win Union Vote

The Lab and Operations staff at Reviewed, part of the USA Today Network, voted unanimously yesterday to be represented by the Boston Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA Local 31245. The Reviewed Lab and Operations Workers Union consists of the full-time laboratory testing team and the building operations and logistics workers at Reviewed’s Cambridge, MA offices.

The division of the Reviewed Workers’ Union into two separate units was the product of an anti-union campaign conducted by management aimed at protracting the unit certification process and undermining the unity of their workers. The unanimous victory today, and landslide victory of the Reviewed Editorial Workers Union last week, demonstrates that those efforts have failed, and that Reviewed’s staff will continue to stand united, even in the face of voter challenges, targeted restructuring, and a series of dubiously legal mid-election captive audience meetings which prompted the workers to file an unfair labor practice charge against Gannett.

“It has been a long road to get here,” said lab manager and eleven-year Reviewed employee Jon Chan, “but seeing the election results today made it all worth it. This unanimous outcome is proof that our interest in each other’s wellbeing at work is more powerful than any corporate interest in short-term profit.”

Reviewed’s lab and operations workers include lab managers, test technicians, operations and logistics coordinators, who contribute to product testing, shipping and receiving, and support the editorial staff across divisions. The Reviewed Union’s organizing effort went public with an NLRB election petition in December, 2022, and the separate Lab and Operations unit petition was filed a few weeks later. 

The announcement of their union effort was accompanied by a mission statement calling attention to a number of demands shared by members of Reviewed’s staff, from just-cause for terminations to the redress of current substandard wages and more, issues they blame for the high employee turnover Reviewed saw in 2021-22.  

Beckett Dubay, a product test technician, said, “I’m so excited to see, through the results of the election, that my coworkers and I are overwhelmingly committed to making Reviewed the best possible place to work. The costs of living continue to increase, and I’ve heard so many stories from colleagues who haven’t received fair raises or COLAs that could help account for that. I worry about being priced out of living in the Boston area, where our office is located. None of us can do our best work when we are struggling to get by, so I’m looking forward to working with my coworkers to bargain a fair contract with Gannett.”

The Reviewed Lab and Operations Workers Union joins 48 other unionized Gannett shops around the country ready to fight for a fair and equitable contract for Reviewed and for every Gannett shop.

Editorial Workers at Gannett’s Win Union Vote

The editorial staff at Reviewed, part of the USA Today Network, voted in a landslide today to be represented by the Boston Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA Local 31245. The Reviewed Editorial Workers Union consists of 38 members across the country, including 15 reporting to the Reviewed offices in Cambridge, MA. 

The success of this election came on the heels of an aggressive anti-union campaign carried out by management, resulting in a separate filing for the Reviewed Lab and Operations Workers Union as well as other attempts to divide the union, including voter challenges, targeted restructuring, and dubiously legal mid-election captive audience meetings which prompted the workers to file a ULP charge against Gannett.

“Our victory today is not just a validation of our organizing efforts, but a validation of the very concept of worker solidarity, too,” said Michael Desjardin, a senior staff writer. “For years, our dedicated, hardworking staff has shaped Reviewed’s continued success. Now, we’ve officially secured a seat at the bargaining table, securing a better future for Reviewed and strengthening solidarity across the entire Gannett network. We look forward to having our voices heard.”

“We welcome the official certification of our editorial worker-comrades’ union, which formalizes the unity and solidarity which we’ve been building underground for nearly a year,” said operations coordinator Sofia Tort. “Every day, we hear from our colleagues that the organizing work leading to this election has given them a sense of community and mutual support that they’d never seen at Reviewed. The victory we’ve won today, especially after the union busting that we’ve been faced with at every step of this campaign, demonstrates the strength of that unity. We’re now ready to advance towards our Lab and Operations election, and then the bargaining table, with redoubled confidence.” 

Reviewed’s editorial workers include writers, editors, photographers, video producers, graphic designers, and social media specialists who contribute to the production, publication and circulation of product reviews and consumer reports. Their organizing effort went public with an NLRB election petition in December, 2022. 

The announcement of their union effort was accompanied by a mission statement calling attention to a number of demands shared by members of Reviewed’s staff, from just-cause for terminations to the redress of current substandard wages and more, issues they blame for the high employee turnover Reviewed saw in 2021-22.  

As senior editor Joanna Nelius put it, “Since we began organizing last year, we’ve lost some incredible colleagues to no-cause terminations, unjust layoffs, and general attrition as the poor compensation and working conditions we’ve faced at Reviewed made it harder and harder to stay. But our victory today goes to show that Reviewed’s staff, from those who have been here for years to those who just started with the company, are ready to unite to make sure that those conditions end here and to fight for a better workplace. We’ve seen that that is only possible when we’re organized as workers, and today our organization is finally legally recognized; I’m proud to now be a member of the Boston Newspaper Guild.”

The Reviewed Editorial Workers’ Union joins 48 other unionized Gannett workplaces around the country ready to fight for a fair and equitable contract for Reviewed and for every Gannett worker.

Lee Enterprise workers call on company to invest in news

The Unions of Lee Enterprises call on the Iowa-based chain to stop taking resources from its newspapers, which is costing jobs, weakening communities and harming the company’s ability to become a sustainable digital operation.

So far this year, there have been more than 50 staff reductions at the 12 unionized newspapers of Lee. That includes 22 newsroom layoffs, buyouts or voluntary resignations of union members, 12 abolished open positions, and other layoffs or eliminations of non-union employees and managers. Those numbers grow considerably when factoring in Lee’s non-union newspapers.

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View of the Federal Communications Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 2020.

CWA, NewsGuild-CWA and NABET-CWA Applaud FCC’s Action on TEGNA Takeover

This afternoon, the Federal Communications Commission announced its Media Bureau has submitted Standard General’s attempted takeover of local news broadcaster TEGNA to an administrative law judge to review.

The hearing designation order is a strong indication that the staff agrees that there are clear issues with the takeover attempt. The move to refer the matter to an administrative law judge is rarely used by the FCC. Hedge fund Standard General first announced their plans to acquire TEGNA in February 2022. It’s an $8.6 billion deal and affects more than 60 local news stations across the U.S.

Today’s action shows that Standard General has failed to show that their takeover is in the public interest. In its order, the Media Bureau wrote, “based on the record before us, we are unable to find that grant of the applications would be consistent with the public interest.”

“Chairwoman Rosenworcel clearly recognizes that protecting the public interest means assessing the impact of media industry transactions on workers and on the health of local news,” CWA President Chris Shelton said. “In line with the Biden Administration’s focus on creating and preserving good, family-supporting jobs, Chairwoman Rosenworcel understands that it is not only appropriate, but essential, for the FCC to consider potential job loss as a result of mergers. CWA members appreciate her careful scrutiny of this deal and we thank the FCC staff for stepping in and standing with us at this critical point in our democracy’s history.”

“I applaud Chairwoman Rosenworcel for sticking up for local news and workers, and thank her for recognizing our concerns, particularly on the losses of local news jobs,” NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss said. “We have witnessed hedge funds murdering local newspapers, cutting jobs and decimating local news. We engaged in this fight to prevent the same thing from happening in local broadcast.”

“NABET-CWA has long fought for broadcast journalists and editorial workers, and we thank Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s resolve for backing our members,” said NABET-CWA President Charlie Braico.

In June 2022 The NewsGuild-CWA and NABET-CWA filed a petition to deny with the FCC, challenging Standard General’s plans to reduce local news jobs, raise consumer prices and violate the FCC’s ownership cap.

The NewsGuild-CWA has long advocated for local news and expressed concerns about hedge funds, including at Alden Global Capital, which has cut thousands of jobs and shuttered newspapers across the U.S.


Press Contact

CWA Communications
(202) 434-1168

Palm Springs Desert Sun journalists walk out two years after unionizing

On Friday, Feb. 17, members of The Desert Sun NewsGuild in Palm Springs, California, participated in a one-day walkout. The walkout was held on the two-year anniversary of the formation of the union. It was the guild’s second walkout in just over three months as The Desert Sun NewsGuild previously participated in a walkout on Nov. 4.

The decision to walk off for a second time was a difficult one, but members decided it was necessary after only limited progress was made toward a contract in the two years since The Desert Sun NewsGuild was formed.

In particular, there has been virtually no progress toward some of the guild’s most significant goals, which include a $60,000 salary floor, securing fairer and more equitable scheduling practices and guaranteeing the ability for employees to freely pursue freelance writing work that does not interfere with the work they do at The Desert Sun. The Desert Sun’s owner, Gannett, has also refused to agree that all Desert Sun staffers either join the guild or pay dues to support it going forward.

All 14 NewsGuild members who were scheduled to work on Feb. 17 participated in the walkout. The guild also held a rally and march Friday morning in downtown Palm Springs, during which it called for Gannett to move quickly toward a contract that will ensure The Desert Sun’s hardworking employees are treated with the dignity and respect that has for too long been denied to them, and guarantee the future of high-quality local news in the Coachella Valley.

Several members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 440 Riverside County attended the rally and march and joined the NewsGuild’s call for a fair contract. The TDS NewsGuild was extremely thankful for their support.

On Thursday, supporters launched a GoFundMe to raise money for its members that would be losing out on a second day of pay to participate in the walkout. As of Monday morning, $2,102 had been collected. The Desert Sun NewsGuild is extremely thankful to those who have contributed to the fund, which remains open for donations.

Please follow The TDS NewsGuild on Twitter @TDSNewsGuild to stay up to date on our efforts. TDS NewsGuild members are hopeful that the company will act quickly to reach a fair contract.

Chicago Guild hiring a full-time staffer

The Chicago News Guild is seeking a dynamic full-time Staff Member to join our growing local in the home of the American labor movement! We’re looking for a member-focused “coach” who can identify and cultivate leaders among our membership, and build up skills and cohesion in each of the more than 20 units in our local of 400 members (soon to add nearly 200 more) who work at newspapers, as court interpreters, and at nonprofits and labor unions.

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NBC News Guild "We're walking out!" graphic

NBC Digital workers are walking out tomorrow

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Tomorrow morning more than 200 journalists at NBC News, MSNBC, and TODAY are walking out! They’re halting work for one day to protest the company’s unfair labor practices. In January the company illegally laid off seven bargaining unit members and informed others that they were no longer members of the union. This of course violates federal law.

We’ve written about how a company cannot lay off workers prior to a first contract being settled. And of course NBC is familiar with this precedent because they illegally cut salaries without bargaining in 2020 (and then had to pay back workers with interest)!

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NBC News Guild "We're walking out!" graphic

Over 200 Journalists at NBC News, MSNBC, TODAY Digital Plan to Walk Off the Job

For immediate release: February 8, 2023
Media contact:, 646-761-1991

Workers call out NBC Universal for repeatedly breaking the law, most recently illegally laying off union members 

Along with illegal actions, workers are fighting back against bad-faith bargaining

NATIONAL — This morning, NBC Digital News Guild, a union representing just under 300 workers across NBC News, MSNBC, and TODAY Digital, sent a letter to management announcing that a supermajority of workers in the unit are committed to walking out on Thursday, February 9, unless the company walks back their unlawful actions. 

On January 12, NBC illegally laid off seven bargaining unit members, and informed several others that, while still employed, they were no longer protected by the union. The union filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the company at the National Labor Relations Board on January 13. 

Under well-settled NLRB precedent, employers cannot conduct layoffs without bargaining with the union during negotiations for a first contract. NBC knows this precedent well, previously having been found by the NLRB to have violated federal law by cutting union salaries in 2020 without bargaining. The NLRB was affirmed by the DC Circuit, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars of back pay delivered to union members this year.

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National Labor Relations Board judge rules Post-Gazette violated federal labor law; must bargain with union and restore previous contract

An administrative law judge from the National Labor Relations Board handed journalists at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a major victory Thursday by ruling the newspaper didn’t negotiate in good faith, illegally imposed working conditions and unlawfully surveilled workers engaged in union activities.

Geoffrey Carter, who heard the case last fall, ordered the newspaper to resume bargaining with the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh within 15 days of the union requesting it. He also ordered the company to rescind the unilateral working conditions it had imposed in 2020, and restore the union’s previous contract, which expired in 2017.

Carter further ordered the company to “make its employees whole for any loss of earnings and other benefits that resulted from its unlawful unilateral changes.” Union officials had estimated at one point that the company’s bill could be about $4 million.

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