NewsGuild of New York Files Series of Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against Gannett Over Union Busting at Guild-Represented Newspapers
Complaint Alleges Gannett Management Threatened Workers’ 401k Matches for Supporting Union Organizing Efforts
NEW YORK -- The NewsGuild of New York has filed a series of Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board over union-busting actions by Gannett trying to derail successful NY Guild organizing efforts. The complaint filed with the NLRB details how managers threatened adverse consequences, including loss of benefits, if they supported the union organizing effort.
The complaint also details how the company improperly changed job titles in the middle of a union election and attempted to unilaterally promulgate new return to office policies. Return to office policies are a mandatory subject of bargaining.
“We have won every Gannett union election by overwhelming margins and I’m proud of our members for standing up to Gannett’s union-busting,” said Susan DeCarava, President of the NewsGuild of New York. “Our fight for paycheck fairness, just cause, and more inclusive workplaces means a better Gannett for everyone—from workers to readers across the country and in the communities we serve. We will always protect workers’ rights to organize without interference from union-busting managers.
“Gannett’s union-busting tactics have only made us more resolved to have a voice in our newsrooms and to fight for a strong first contract,” said Susanne Cervenka, a reporter with the Asbury Park Press. “I think everyone in the region now sees how a union can mean a better workplace and better journalism for our communities.”
The news comes amid increased outrage over Gannett’s labor practices. NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss has called on Gannett CEO Mike Reed to investigate allegations that employees are frequently expected to work overtime without pay and has called on him to end a “culture of exploitation” at the nation’s largest news chain. Gannett journalists themselves have rejected the company’s denials that unpaid overtime is widespread, and Gannett settled a class-action lawsuit with call center employees over the issue earlier this year for $650,000.
Previously, NY Guild had filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint against Gannett’s union-busting at the Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT). That complaint showed how Gannett management promised benefits for rejecting the union.
NY Guild has had a string of organizing success at Gannett newspapers over the summer. On 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 85 media workers at the three publications. Website: https://www.therecordguild.com/
On July 14, workers at The Journal News, Times Herald-Record, and Poughkeepsie Journal filed for a 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. More than 80 percent of the workers signed cards and the mission statement. Website: https://hudsonvalleynewsguild.org/
On Aug. 11, workers at the 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/
On Aug. 19, the Asbury Park Press and Courier News/Home News Tribune Guild announced that they had formed a union and filed for an election with the NLRB. More than 70 percent of eligible employees signed on to a public mission statement supporting their union. The unit includes 45 media workers at three publications in New Jersey. Website: https://appmcjguild.com/
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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