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.

Management’s offer raise offer is well below the wage improvements workers need during an affordability crisis. It also comes after below-inflation increases since 2012, including three years of zero increases from 2012-2014. Moreover, management’s offer is well below the increases obtained in the latest noteworthy education, energy and health care settlements in Ontario. Our members refuse to be professionally devalued by the Government of Ontario.

Please join me in donating to the striking workers. TVO members are very active online, so follow them @TVO_CMG.

Wall Street Journal photo editors are finally voting to unionize alongside the rest of the of the WSJ bargaining unit, part of IAPE (TNG-CWA Local 1096), nearly nine months after the conclusion of a hearing into the question of their union eligibility. Voting just started and already workers are sending in their ballots in favor of unionization. The mail-ballot election concludes by September 8, about a year after they first filed for an election. You can follow along @Unionize_Photo.

Gannett had another ugly viral moment yesterday. The company, the largest news publisher in the United States, has been rolling out a buggy Artificial Intelligence program to “write” high school sports stories. As the Sarasota Newspaper Guild wrote, “Unions are the only thing slowing the race to the bottom.” Journalists have unionized at a record rate to save our publications for our communities and prevent the kind of garbage that showed up on Gannett’s website.

Associated Press management is being secretive about its plans for AI. Management refused to provide workers a copy of the agreement the wire service inked with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. “We seek transparency in our reporting — why won’t mgmt adhere to those basic journalism principles?” the workers wrote. Good question! Good journalists promote trust, accountability and transparency. Management? I guess they’re not good journalists.

We joined the Writers Guild of America, East, in demanding that the Marion County Police department be held accountable for its raid of the Marion County Record’s offices and publisher’s home. While we don’t represent any workers at the small local weekly newspaper, this raid is an affront to the journalistic independence necessary to maintain a democracy. We cannot be bullied by police. Journalism is not a crime.

One of our Pittsburgh Post-Gazette strikers is getting married! Congratulations to Bekah and Julian! Julian Roth has been on strike since October over management’s refusal to bargain in good faith and provide affordable healthcare to Post-Gazette workers. He announced online that they’re engaged. Workers are still on strike, pushing the company to finally come to its senses. Be sure to throw $5 into their strike fund.

One of our summer interns at the Pittsburgh Union Progress, our strike publication, wrote about her experience in Teen Vogue. Delaney Parks was offered an internship with the Post-Gazette, but turned it down.

“There was no way I was going to be a scab,” Delaney told PUP Editor Bob Batz. “We worked out a plan for myself and Harrison Hamm, another aspiring reporter, for what we believe is the first ‘strike paper’ interns ever, writing for the Pittsburgh Union Progress. PUP is an online outlet where striking journalists have continued to cover community stories without a salary. Aided by a grant from my school, I set off on a 3 a.m. Greyhound bus to Pittsburgh.”

She called her time with the PUP her “Union Girl Summer” and attended pickets, bargaining and union support events.

“This union girl is convinced that the struggle of the worker is a collective one by nature and the solution has to be collective too,” she wrote.

We are happy to have you in the Guild family, Delaney!

Our members in Maui are working so hard to continue to live and report in the aftermath of the devastating wildfires last week. Workers raised more than $20,000 to support supplies, protective equipment and support for the journalists and media workers impacted by the fires. Thanks to everyone who donated! Right now our members are still focused on local coverage, but covering destructive disasters like wildfires does something to your soul. They’re writing about people trapped in their homes. People they know. The Maui community is like a small island town and some of our members have been working at the Maui News for decades, serving their neighbors. Continue to follow @PacMediaGuild for updates.

This morning Politico and E&E News lined the halls of the offices in DC to support their bargaining team in two days of marathon bargaining. “Fair contract now!” the workers shouted, mobilizing dozens of journalists to rally for pay equity, just cause and respect in their first contract. Axel Springer owns Politico and E&E News alongside Insider. Insider workers went on a 13-day strike to win a groundbreaking first contract in June. These workers no doubt will do whatever it takes.

New York Times Tech workers took to slack to tell management they’re done with the delays. Management has agreed to only 15 bargaining sessions and hasn’t given the worker proposals the respect they deserve. “In the ~8760 hours of the first year of negotiations, only 42.5 hours have been used to bargain,” workers wrote online last week. They even charted the percentage of worker proposals that management has crossed out. NYT Tech workers…they’ve got the receipts and will give it back to you in chart form.

NBC News workers are still fighting for a first contract, three years into negotiations. Can you believe that management is refusing to agree to the Guild standard of just cause no exceptions? Yeah, management really isn’t that surprising. Join me in sending a letter to let the company know that you build a better company built on trust when workers are protected from unreasonable discipline and terminations.

Seattle Times workers ratified a new contract. Congratulations to our Pacific Northwest Guild fam! Workers won 9% raises over three years, a signing bonus, new salary scales for the lowest paid members, improved family leave and much more. “Make no mistake: Collective action is what got us this — a better deal than we’ve seen in years,” workers wrote online.

Workers at Scholastic rallied in Manhattan last week demanding a fair contract. Workers chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, corporate greed has got to go!” alongside “We deserve our retro pay.” Scholastic, the publishing, education and media company, hasn’t increased wages to keep up with inflation and the working conditions are far out of step with the industry. At the next really, Miss Frizzle is going to drive a busload of managers into outer space and leave them there. I have it on good authority.

Our members at the AFL-CIO are still pushing for a fair contract. I’m proud we represent the workers at America’s house of labor and it’s high time Liz Shuler and company agree to a fair contract. Workers are asking for support by downloading and sharing out a graphic. Join me in standing with them!

In solidarity,