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.