NewsGuild of New York responds to the shutdown of BuzzFeed News

The NewsGuild of New York released the following statement from President Susan DeCarava in response to an announcement from BuzzFeed News that it will be shutting down its operations:

“We’re deeply dismayed by the announced closing of this groundbreaking digital newsroom. Dozens of journalists represented by The NewsGuild of New York work at BuzzFeed News, and we are concerned both about their future and the broader impact of this announcement on the media industry at large.

The collective bargaining contract that the BuzzFeed News Union won in 2021 includes a number of protections to ensure workers aren’t left with nothing in case of sudden layoffs. We expect that BuzzFeed will honor those commitments now, and we are prepared to enforce the terms of that contract if they don’t.

Today’s news demonstrates why it’s so important for media workers to unionize. Corporate bottom lines privilege profitability all the time. As a union, our collective bottom line is to the workers who made BuzzFeed News the innovative news organization it is, and to the communities and public interest that the newsroom and our members serve. There are real life consequences when management favors short-term returns over long-term investments. That’s why we fight hard for contracts that provide protections and support for workers unfairly left holding the bag from a company’s questionable decisions.”

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Screenshot of letter sent by Media Guild of the West and Pacific Media Workers Guild to the California State Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection

California guilds submit letter of support for the California Journalism Preservation Act

Two of California’s largest journalism unions submitted a joint letter of support for the California Journalism Preservation Act (AB 886, Wicks) on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

This marks the first time that trade unions representing American journalists are supporting a bill that seeks to level the economic playing field between massive tech platforms and news publishers.

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Logo for PESP Staff Union - CWA

Employees of financial watchdog nonprofit Private Equity Stakeholder Project form new staff union

Media Contact:
Matt Parr, Private Equity Stakeholder Project Staff Union

On Wednesday, April 19, the staff of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project announced the formation of a union within the Denver Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA Local 37074), part of Communications Workers of America – District 7 (CWA). The PESP Staff Union (PESP-SU) is now seeking voluntary recognition from the nonprofit organization.

The 11 employees represent all aspects of PESP’s work activities, supporting nationally-recognized research and campaigns to pull back the curtain on the scope and negative effects of the private equity industry. With the formation of this union, PESP staff look to join the movement of other mission-driven nonprofit organizations that recognize the importance and solidarity of unionized workplaces. Through collective bargaining, these nonprofits, including PESP, can commit to fair and equitable working conditions for employees, while also enhancing the services they provide to marginalized communities across the country.

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ACLU Southern Affiliates

ACLU’s southern affiliates announce plan to unionize

Today, staff at the ACLU of Kentucky, ACLU of Louisiana, and ACLU of Mississippi joined over a hundred fellow ACLU workers in organizing a union. Collectively known as ACLU Southern Affiliates United, workers at the three ACLU affiliates have organized with the Washington-Baltimore News Guild (WBNG) and are requesting joint recognition from their employer. Their announcement follows ACLU-D.C. Staff United, who just last week requested recognition of their union with WBNG.

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Cityside Guild logo

Bay Area Journalists at nonprofit Cityside announce union campaign

This week workers at Cityside — a nonprofit journalism outlet devoted to covering the Bay Area through two local news sites, Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside — announced their intention to organize as part of the Pacific Media Workers Guild.

With unanimous support of their membership, the Cityside Guild is seeking voluntary recognition from their management.

The Pacific Media Workers Guild (TNG-CWA Local 39521) is helping the workers organize as they build power in their workplace.

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Logo of ACLU of DC "staff united"

ACLU staff in Washington, DC unionizes

Tuesday morning staffers at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, DC announced their intent to unionize, joining a wave of workers unionizing at other ACLU affiliates in North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, Minnesota and Kansas.

The workers published their mission on Twitter, writing:

ACLU-D.C. prioritizes justice, equity, and inclusion in its work and, as the workers of this organization, we believe it should maintain those priorities in its self-governance. To this end, staff has joined other affiliates and thousands of other non-profit workers across the country to form ACLU-D.C. Staff United, the newest collective to join the labor movement.

Our union will provide a democratic and accountable structure through which staff can support the greatest ideals of ACLU-D.C. We will build and share power, make collective decisions, and promote transparency and collaboration with management. Our greatest aim is to ensure that the workers who are most impacted by the organization’s policies can shape our working conditions.

Together, we will build on ACLU-D.C.’s strong foundation to develop anti-racist policies and create sustainable conditions that empower staff to thrive as we build a more just and free D.C.

Graphic icon with "MLex Guild"

MLex employees form union, seek voluntary recognition from LexisNexis

MLex and FTCWatch employees across the US came together and formed a union, and are now seeking voluntary recognition as MLex Guild from LexisNexis and its parent company, RELX.

MLex Guild, more than 20 workers at MLex and FTCWatch, will be a unit of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, part of the Communications Workers of America, and is comprised of employees based in Washington, San Francisco and New York.

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Screenshot of letter from NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss to President Biden, calling for the U.S. to fight for the release of Evan Gershkovich, who is held by Russian authorities

NewsGuild-CWA calls on Biden to secure release of Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Russia

Update: U.S. officials designated Gershkovich as “wrongfully detained” on April 10.

Read the letter

The NewsGuild-CWA, the largest union of journalists and media workers in North America, called on President Biden and his administration to take all necessary steps to secure the immediate release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested by Russian authorities last week.

Evan Gershkovich has a distinguished record of reporting on the Kremlin’s war efforts, profiling Russian dissidents and covering the stories of wartime life in border towns in Russia and Ukraine. His recent work has exposed the Russian government’s attempts to squash dissent and discourage antiwar protests, as well as highlighting the inner workings of President Vladimir Putin’s advisory circle.

NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss expressed appreciation for President Biden’s call for Russia to release Mr. Gershkovich and for U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the matter. However, Schleuss urged the U.S. administration to work swiftly with Roger D. Carstens, special envoy for hostage affairs, to designate Mr. Gershkovich as wrongfully detained under the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act.

President Schleuss implored President Biden to use the full force of his office and the diplomatic resources at his disposal to secure Mr. Gershkovich’s release, engage with international partners to amplify this message, and to provide support to Mr. Gershkovich’s family during this difficult time.

“Journalism is not a crime,” Schleuss said. “No journalist should be arrested for doing their job.”

Schleuss also urged restraint in any retaliation against Russian journalists in the United States, emphasizing that a reduction in the number of journalists working in the U.S. would not be beneficial.

Schleuss emphasized the importance of press freedom and the protection of journalists worldwide as cornerstones of democratic societies and called on the U.S. administration to stand up for the rights and safety of journalists.

The NewsGuild-CWA represents journalists and media workers at more than 240 news organizations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, including those at The Wall Street Journal. While Mr. Gershkovich is based overseas and not a member of the union, his colleagues are standing with him, denouncing his arrest and demanding his release. 

About The NewsGuild-CWA
The NewsGuild’s represents about 26,000 workers including journalists, interpreters, translators, workers at organizations dedicated to fighting for social justice and the staff of nonprofit organizations. The NewsGuild is a sector of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents workers in telecommunications and information technology, the airline industry, health care, public service and education, manufacturing and other fields.

Media contact: (202) 434-1175

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.