Journalists of the Everett Herald announced Tuesday they are forming the Everett NewsGuild, to represent the newsroom workers at the Washington state publication. The group includes 23 reporters, photographers, page designers and web producers and will become part of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild Local 37082.
“Our goal is to ensure fair working conditions, comprehensive benefits and a livable wage for the workers this union represents. We will engage in collective bargaining so newsroom employees feel represented and heard,” they said.
“We love our jobs, we love this community, and we love what we do.” they tweeted. “But Sound Publishing doesn’t pay all its employees fairly or equally. This needs to change if the paper is to survive and maintain its quality of coverage.”
In a Mission Statement, signed by the newsroom employees, they wrote, “We believe our job is more important now than ever as newsrooms are slashed in the name of corporate profits and journalists are forced to leave this profession for other industries that offer better pay and benefits.
“The readers who depend on us deserve more. So do we.”
The message the company sends is that the journalists are disposable, they said. It has failed to offer competitive pay and benefits, while demanding they make “increasingly unbearable sacrifices.”
Turnover undermines the newsroom’s ability to build the institutional knowledge fundamental to good journalism, they said.
“Newsroom employees at the Daily Herald deserve a seat at the table as we work to build a sustainable future for our newsroom. We call on the company to join us.”
Follow them on Twitter @EverettGuild.