From Bloomberg Law | Law360 Workers Get Union Cash in Push for Contract
The following article originally appeared on Bloomberg Law's website:
The NewsGuild of New York authorized $250,000 in spending to support lengthy labor contract negotiations at Law360.
Staffers at the media company joined the union in 2016 but have yet to reach agreement on a first contract.
“It’s just too long,” NewsGuild Local 31003 representative Susan DeCarava told Bloomberg Law. “We want the pace of negotiations to match the passion that our members feel about these issues.”
The financial commitment is “a resounding statement of support,” she said Sept. 20. Asked how the money will be spent, DeCarava said, “In practical terms, that means anything from supporting materials about messaging to potential ad buys when we go public, if we go public.”
Law360 did not respond to a request for comment.
The request for monetary support makes sense if the union is seeking to “rally the troops,” but it is not a common tactic, management attorney Mark Neuberger told Bloomberg Law Sept. 21.
The money “could maybe be used differently, or the message could get out a lot cheaper and quicker, through things like email and social media,” he said. Neuberger is with Foley & Lardner in Miami.
One subject of negotiations has been settled: The company and the union reached a tentative agreement to exclude noncompete agreements the labor contract as part of ongoing contract negotiations, Law360 union chair Juan Carlos Rodriguez told Bloomberg Law.
Law360 reporters have been without noncompete agreements since 2016 as part of a settlement with the New York State Attorney General.
“We want to make sure those don’t come back,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez has worked at Law360 since 2011. “Noncompetes were a wage suppressant by keeping people in one place and preventing them from leaving. They run counter to the core values of journalism, of freedom of speech and expression.”
More than 170 of Law360’s reporters are members of the NewsGuild, DeCarava said.
Law360 is a subsidiary of LexisNexis and has office locations in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago, among others. The contract would cover employees nationally.
The NewsGuild is part of the Communication Workers of America and also represents editorial staffers at Bloomberg Law.
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