Coronavirus COVID-19 response

What The Guild is doing

Since the crisis began, The NewsGuild-CWA has been documenting and sharing employer responses with our local officers in the United States and Canada. 

Representatives and leaders across our union are fighting for:

  • Inclusion of news industry workers in the next COVID-19 stimulus package (read more)
  • Paid time off for any COVID-19 illnesses
  • Overtime pay for employees who work more than 40 hours, or beyond the limit set out in their contracts
  • Ability to work from home whenever possible
  • Ergonomic equipment setups at home
  • Ability for workers to refuse an assignment over health and safety concerns without punishment
  • Safety equipment for anyone working in the field (including disinfectant wipes, alcohol spray, hand sanitizer, N95 masks, gloves and more)
  • Safety measures to protect anyone who has to continue working at the office or in the field
  • Promoting principles for anyone returning to an office

The Guild is also tracking layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts associated with the pandemic. Send updates to sbasile@cwa-union.org.

We are also limiting travel by our representatives and organizers through at least the end of April, to protect their health and the public’s. Our staffers continue to work from home and are available by phone and email. 

We continue to organize and if you’re interested in joining our union, contact us. 

We’ll continue to share resources with our members and our locals as we work through this crisis together.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at guild@cwa-union.org.

How journalists can stay safe

Journalists have a critical mission: to report the news and this pandemic shows how important their role is. But it’s important to also make sure journalists are protecting their own health and safety. 

Sing ‘Solidarity Forever’ while washing your hands. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Follow the safety protocols by the CDC and:

  • Social distance. Keep at least six feet from others
  • Avoid groups with 10 or more people
  • Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds or more
  • Avoid contact with anyone showing signs of respiratory illness
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough with your elbow
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Work from home whenever possible and use Facetime, Zoom, Skype and phone calls to limit your exposure
  • Limit all non-essential travel

Also consider:

  • Decline assignments that could expose you to risks if you have concerns about your own health and safety
  • Be aware that you might be contagious even if you have no symptoms
  • Find out what protocols your employer has established and contact your local union leadership if you have any questions. Contact us (guild@cwa-union.org) if you don’t know who that is. 
  • Be aware of your own mental health while in social isolation and under extreme stress. 
    • Keep work and life separate. Set a time to stop working every day.
    • Get sufficient sleep, unplug before bed, exercise, eat healthy foods, hydrate and take vitamins to make sure you’re getting proper nutrition. 
    • Be kind to yourself. You’re also experiencing this crisis and it’s important to rethink how you view being productive during the pandemic.
    • Be kind to your colleagues and offer support to people around you. 
    • Be aware that we’re all working differently and not everyone adapts the same way. 
    • Talk with others if you’re feeling stress. Seek professional help if necessary.
    • It’s OK to take a mental health day and unplug from social media or the news to recharge and focus on your own health. 

How to support journalists

Subscribe to your local news publication. Many publications are seeing massive drops in advertising revenue and need community support to continue to share life-saving news. Support them if you can. If you already subscribe, ask someone else to subscribe.

More resources