We made a commitment to each other



As we mark the passage of one year into the next, our time of recuperation and renewal is dampened by record-breaking COVID rates. The failure of federal, state, and local administrations to acknowledge the danger of forcing workers to unsafe commutes, back to offices and businesses ill-equipped to handle pandemic realities, represents a breath-taking abdication of civic and social responsibility. 

This means that the buck stops with us. Throughout this past year, all of you worked diligently to ensure a steady stream of information, to ask necessary questions, to tell vital stories, and to test essential products. It reminds me that the unity, grit, and courage that we have built (and are still building!) are not abstract concepts of power. They save lives. While the pandemic rages on, we’ve said no to austerity measures and to a people-over-profits stance at our bargaining tables. We stood firm on our demands for true equity, diversity, and inclusion in our newsrooms. We drew a hard line on health and safety standards in the workplace. We strengthened our community with overarching solidarity. 

Above all else, we made a commitment to each other to build a union that deeply reflects our values. That commitment to action has made all the difference in the world. Here’s a small sample of what we have accomplished: 



  • We overwhelmingly affirmed a commitment to the power of a fighting, member-led union that’s built on an organizing model, replacing the business-as-usual servicing that has dominated labor for the past 70 years in an historic referendum to increase dues to keep our union #GuildStrong. 



  • We set the highest standards for occupational health and safety — demanding from employers a layered approach that includes vaccine mandates, enforced masking, strong ventilation & filtration, and continued remote work when community transmission is high. 



  • We demonstrated unity and collective power with walkouts, rallies, protests, and public contract campaigns at Conde Nast, Ziff Davis, Buzzfeed, New York Magazine, Fortune and Time Magazine, just to name a few. Collective action from our New Yorker colleagues, culminating in a protest outside Anna Wintour’s home, resulted in a transformative contract that redefined what it means to work at a “prestige” publication. 



  • We showed Guild-wide solidarity in support of Wirecutter, Times Tech and Times Guild workers at a rally at the doorstep of The New York Times that reinforced we must fight together — a win for one is a win for all. (Check out the wonderful zine from Times Tech). This led into the longest successful strike at the Guild in nearly two decades when Wirecutter workers went on strike with 100% participation over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, winning a contract that raised historically low salary floors. 



  • We made huge strides in our goal of saving and protecting local journalism. We unionized entire regions from Central New Jersey to Mid Hudson Valley, and across the Atlantic Region with the Gannett Regional Union. They closed off the year with packing out a strong joint-bargaining session. 


Back in August, as the #GuildStrong campaign unfolded, I said that “a transformation is underway in our union.” In this new year, we’ll continue our forward movement, forging stronger ties and building more power to ensure that the places we work works for all of us. 

Our commitment to each other is grounded in recognizing where our real power lies: in our solidarity and willingness to take collective action, to fight together, and to win. 

Let’s move into 2022 with such continued purpose, uncompromised and unafraid. 
In solidarity, 
Susan DeCarava
President, NewsGuild of New York 

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