Newsletter: Are you going to Labor Notes?

Happy Friday!

We have a lot of news around the Guild, so let’s jump in.

Last week I attended the Washington Post RAT-ificiation party in Washington, DC and it broke my heart with joy. Outgoing co-unit chair Katie Mettler showed a video about leadership. Have you seen the shirtless dancing guy? A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But followers are the ones that build a movement and you have to embrace them as equals.

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Newsletter: 24 strikes in two weeks? Yep!

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It has been a very busy 2024! Just yesterday more than 200 workers across Tribune Publishing struck seven publications over the owner’s refusal to provide raises and retain a 401k match that employees depend on. The owner? Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund murdering America’s newsrooms. 

America’s journalists are standing up and fighting back. 

“We didn’t go into this job for the money, but Alden’s cuts have hit so close to the bone that we can’t even do our jobs as journalists anymore. Enough is enough. Journalists deserve to be able to retire with dignity,” said Madeline Buckley, criminal courts reporter at the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Tribune Guild unit chair. “The company’s insulting proposals on wages and benefits puts our future at risk, along with our ability to continue to produce the hard-hitting journalism this city relies upon.”

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Newsletter: Los Angeles Times is on strike TODAY

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When we were organizing at the Los Angeles Times seven years ago we never thought we would go on strike.

Now, six years to the day since we had our vote count, workers are on strike for 24 hours in protest of illegal behavior by management and company plans to lay off a disastrous number of journalists.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles Times management announced that it intends to imminently lay off a significant number of journalists and asked the Guild to gut seniority protections in the union contract so they have vastly more freedom to pick whom to lay off. This will greatly damage our ability to provide the accountability journalism so important to Southern California.

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Newsletter: Law360 went on strike this morning

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NewsGuild-CWA members at Law360 are on strike today. Workers at the legal news service owned by LexisNexis are fed up with management’s illegal and stalling tactics at the bargaining table and started a one-day work stoppage in protest over management’s behavior.

The Law360 group is special to me (and yes, every member and bargaining unit is special to me). But Law360 members paved the way for my colleagues to organize at the Los Angeles Times. Law360 unionized in August of 2016 and set up a union website. We straight-up copied their “Union busting 101” page and most of their website. Law360 members applied aggressive collective action tactics, which we copied at the Times up to our union win in January 2018.

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Newsletter: AI in the Senate, Scholastic and others get new deals

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Last week workers at Scholastic ratified a new contract that includes raises of 4.75%, 3.5% and 3.5% over three years. The new salary floor starts at $65,000 a year, mirroring wins at the New York Times, Insider and Conde Nast. Workers also won a $3,250 ratification bonus, added health and safety provision, a transparent and fair hybrid work agreement and they continued to fight off a management’s rights clause. I got to join the Scholastic rally during their one-day strike last month and started tearing up talking about how proud I am to be part of a union with folks who help young kids explore new worlds through reading. (Speaking as this kid who grew up in rural Arkansas.) Scholastic members are amazing!

Workers at the AFL-CIO also ratified a successor contract this weekend. The new contract includes raises of 13.25% over four years. Recent previous agreements only won signing bonuses, with no percent increase to staffers bottom lines. The raises only happened because workers put pressure on the boss, in this case the leaders of the AFL-CIO. They marched on the boss, they picketed outside headquarters, built a petition, demonstrated in the workplace and much more. I got to join several of their job actions in Washington, D.C. and was inspired by their solidarity. They work for the entire labor movement and yet were not afraid to hold the house of labor to account. 

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Newsletter: Meet Polkarunion, TVO’s strike mascot

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On Monday, Canadian Media Guild members at TVO, the Ontario public broadcaster, spent 10 hours in bargaining pushing management on the two major sticking points: wages and protections from precarious work. They didn’t get a deal, but made progress.

Last Wednesday I flew up to Toronto to rally alongside our members and other unions calling on the Ontario government to Fund TVO “Like it matters!” I got to meet many of the 74 strikers in my trip and many have worked for TVO for years in either the journalism, education or kids departments. For folks who grew up in Ontario, many know TVO Kids as the station they grew up with.

So, you need to meet Polkarunion, the official mascot of the TVO strike.

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Newsletter: ⚡️ TVO workers on strike! ⚡️ 28th Guild strike of 2023

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More Guild members went on strike yesterday! Canadian Media Guild members at TVO, an English-language public broadcaster in Ontario with about 100 members, went on an open-ended legal strike protesting management’s refusal to pay a wage that keeps up with inflation and its insistence on continuing a practice of temporary and precarious employment for dozens of workers.

The Canadian Media Guild (TNG-CWA Local 30213) is the largest local in CWA Canada and The NewsGuild-CWA and represents workers at TVO, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Canadian Press, Canada’s National Observer and many other news organizations.

Management’s refusal to respect TVO workers has interrupted 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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