Editorial Workers at Gannett’s Central New Jersey Publications Win Union Vote
New York — The editorial employees of the Gannett-owned publications in Central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore—Asbury Park Press (app.com), the Courier News, and the Home News Tribune (mycentraljersey.com)—won their union election to be represented by The NewsGuild of New York, TNG-CWA Local 31003 in a National Labor Relations Board vote that concluded today.
Members of the APP-MCJ Guild voted to form a union to save local journalism from corporate owners, building worker power in the industry by joining the wave of NewsGuild organizing across the country. APP-MCJ workers are advocating for greater diversity in hiring and coverage, and fighting for job security and greater protections against staff, wage, and benefit cuts. Gannett’s corporate ownership has gutted these newsrooms, reducing a staff that once numbered in the hundreds down to less than 50. These dedicated journalists are then tasked with covering the issues facing more than 3 million residents in Central Jersey and along the Jersey Shore. It’s time to return local journalism to the people.
The APP-MCJ Guild joins thousands of media professionals across the country who have organized with The NewsGuild-CWA to preserve and protect their local news outlets from centralized, corporate ownership. Workers at several Gannett-owned publications across the country have organized in recent years to fight for their newsrooms. The APP-MCJ Guild follows the Record Guild, the Atlantic DOT Guild, and the Hudson Valley News Guild as the fourth Gannett unit in the region to unionize with The NewsGuild of New York this year.
The groundswell of organizing in Gannett’s Atlantic region this year includes:
May 7 —Workers at The Bergen Record, The New Jersey Herald, and The Daily Record voted in favor of joining The NewsGuild of New York. The unit represents 80 media workers at the three publications. Website: https://www.therecordguild.com/
August 11 — Workers at the Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT) won a union election at the NLRB. The 21 staffers at The Atlantic DOT Guild work across a five-state region that comprises 37 websites in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. They announced they were forming a union with The NewsGuild of New York Local 31003 in early June. Website: https://www.atlanticdotguild.org/
September 17 — Workers at The Journal News, Times Herald-Record, and Poughkeepsie Journal won their NLRB union election. The group represents 45 workers and includes the Poughkeepsie Journal, the oldest newspaper in New York State and the 2nd-oldest in the nation.They announced they were forming a union with The NewsGuild of New York Local 31003 in mid-July Website: https://hudsonvalleynewsguild.org/
The NewsGuild of New York has filed two unfair practice charges against Gannett over union busting tactics across the four shops, after the company offered benefits in exchange for rejecting the union and created the impression that management was spying on workers' protected union activities. The charges also deal with multiple other violations of the National Labor Relations Act including failing to provide requested information needed for bargaining and attempting to bypass the union as the bargaining representative of the membership. The company has also put up legal obstacles to unionization by seeking to exclude four workers from the APP-MCJ Guild despite the same job titles being included in other Guild units.
“This is a great and historic day for the staff and readers of the Asbury Park Press, Courier News and the Home News Tribune. Unionizing these newspapers has been a long time coming. After decades of stagnant wages and brutal job losses, now we have the power to advocate for a better workplace, a better newsroom and, in turn, better journalism. We look forward to working with Gannett to make lasting improvements to our workplace and our industry, starting with the inclusion of our four colleagues the company has refused to acknowledge.” said Mike Davis, Reporter at Asbury Park Press.
“I am incredibly proud to represent the workers at APP-MCJ Guild who have organized to improve their newsroom and to save local news for their families, their neighbors, and their communities,” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “I look forward to Gannett management coming to the table without delay so that we can begin negotiations for a first contract that will strengthen local news and lift standards across the industry for everyone.”
ABOUT THE NEWSGUILD OF NEW YORK
The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 4,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, TIME, PEOPLE, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. The NewsGuild of New York advocates for journalists to have a voice in the newsroom, for press freedom, for inclusive and diverse workplaces, and for just cause, no exceptions, for all media professionals.
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