NewsGuild of New York Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against Gannett Over Union Busting at Atlantic Digital Optimization Team


Charge Details How Managers Offered Staff Benefits in Exchange For Opposing Union Drive

NEW YORK -- The NewsGuild of New York has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board over union busting actions by Gannett after managers within the company offered benefits in exchange for rejecting the union and created the impression that management was spying on the workers' protected union activities.

Digital producers at the Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT) work across a five-state region that includes 37 websites in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. They announced forming a union with the NewsGuild of New York, CWA Local 31003 in early June. Gannett has declined to voluntarily recognize the union, even though a supermajority of workers have signed membership cards as well as a public mission statement supporting the union. A National Labor Relations Board mail-in ballot union election is now scheduled to commence on July 7.

The charge, filed late yesterday, deals with multiple instances of violations of the National Labor Relations Act in Gannett’s union busting campaign. The charges include that Gannett management promised benefits for rejecting the union and prohibited discussion of the union on work time, even though staff are permitted to discuss other non-work issues during their workday. 

“Management should do the right thing for their workers, stop union busting and agree to voluntarily recognize the union,” said Susan DeCarava, President of the NewsGuild of New York. “Whether it be at Gannett, The New York Times, or anywhere else, we will protect the right of workers to organize without interference from union-busting managers.”

Atlantic DOT producer Jack McLoone added that “Gannett’s union-busting tactics won’t stop us from fighting for a seat at the table. Our union is as strong as it was the day we went public, and we look forward to proving that again in our certification election.” Atlantic DOT producer Sharon Rhodes said, “Gannett’s actions make it glaringly clear why we need our union."

The NewsGuild previously filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge against the New York Times earlier this month on grounds that Times management was forbidding organizing workers from showing support for their union.


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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