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Walter Johnson, Friend of All Workers, is Dead

Carl Hall, Pacific Media Workers Guild - fogcityjournal.com - 17 Jan 2012

Longtime San Francisco Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Walter Johnson is being remembered as a ferocious defender of worker rights and civil rights.

Rights in the workplace

editorial - New York Times - 15 Jan 2012

In a recent ruling, the National Labor Relations Board concluded that employees’ federal right to engage in concerted action trumps any arbitration agreement that bars group claims. It was an impressive defense of employee rights. Employers can still require arbitration, but they must also offer ways for employees to bring collective claims, either in arbitration or in court.

THE GUILD REPORTER

GR EXTRA!

The Commercial Appeal plans to cut nine jobs, adds insult to injury by denying job search training that has been routine in recent layoffs

Memphis Newspaper Guild - 07 Dec 2011

The Commercial Appeal informed the Memphis Newspaper Guild this week of plans to cut nine Guild-covered workers by Dec. 20 and also says it plans to deny them the help in finding another job that has been routine in past layoffs. 

GR EXTRA!

Zipser retires as GR editor

Andy Zipser, Editor - The Guild Reporter - 01 Dec 2011

Andy Zipser, editor of the Guild Reporter, today announced his retirement after 13-plus years in the position. The former reporter for Barron's, The Wall Street Journal and other daily and weekly newspapers said he is looking forward to . . . owning an RV campground. Somewhere. Condolences may be sent to him at his TNG-CWA email address for the next few weeks: azipser at cwa-union.org

GR EXTRA!

In Light of ‘Occupy’ Arrests, New Group ‘To Monitor NYPD/Press Relations’

David Freedlander - PolitickerNY - 22 Nov 2011

The New York Press Club announced on its website yesterday that it is forming “The Coalition for the First Amendment,” along with other local media groups -- including the Newspaper Guild of New York and the News Media Guild -- in order to monitor relations between the NYPD and the press. The announcement follows last week's midnight raid on Zuccotti Park, when nearly two dozen journalists were arrested.

GR EXTRA!

Be a member, be a mentor! New project to help student journalists

CWA/SCA Canada - 22 Nov 2011

CWA Canada has forged a unique partnership with a national student news service in an effort to add Unions 101 to the learning lineup for aspiring journalists. Katherine Lapointe, hired on a five-month contract as a membership and mentorship co-ordinator, is working with the Canadian University Press to sign up associate members for CWA Canada and to arrange mentorships between students and journalists in the union's locals.

GR EXTRA!

Blacks, Latinos in Washington Post "Pushout"

Guild Accusation Harkens to Longstanding Retention Issue

Richard Prince - Journal-isms - 21 Nov 2011

"The Washington Post has pushed out -- or is trying to push out -- at least thirteen people through layoffs, coerced buyouts or outright dismissal on dubious charges," Fredrick Kunkle, co-chair of the Newspaper Guild unit at the Post, wrote in a memo posted on the Guild website Monday. "What’s more troubling is that more than half of those employees are African-Americans or Latinos."

GR EXTRA!

New contract ratified

Sandy Tan - Buffalo Newspaper Guild - 17 Nov 2011

Buffalo Guild members overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with the Buffalo News today, 114-to-9. The turnout represents slightly more than half of all Guild members. The two-year agreement includes no changes in health insurance, as well as a cash bonus of $400 for part-timers and $800 for full-timers. “This was a long and arduous process for all of us,” said Guild President Henry Davis.

GR EXTRA!

Company owes laid-off workers $600,000

Tim O'Brien - Albany Newspaper Guild - 17 Nov 2011

The Albany Times Union owes 11 workers the company illegally laid off in 2009 about $600,000 in back wages, the NLRB has determined, although that figure is actually on the low side because it does not include pension accruals that are owed to the 11. Interest on the debt continues to compound daily. One worker who has not yet found a job is owed more than $105,000. Another is owed more than $98,000. A third is owed more than $80,000.


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NEWS OF THE GUILD & INDUSTRY

Why We Fight: The Life and Untimely Death of Robert Douglas

Bill McClellan - STL Today - 12 Jan 2012

Robert Douglas had been an indispensable part of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newsroom for nearly 40 years when job cuts forced him to take early retirement in 2008. He was approaching 60, struggling financially and in poor health. The good news was that he had retiree health care. That is, until the company unilaterally canceled it in January 2011, in violation of its agreement with the St. Louis Newspaper Guild. Douglas applied for Medicaid and was denied. He tried to get by with free clinics and borrowed insulin, but by mid-December he was dead. The Guild is suing publisher Lee Enterprises in federal court to compel arbitration and ultimately get retiree health benefits restored.

NLRB: Workers Have Right to Class-Action Lawsuits Against Bosses

Mike Elk - In These Times - 12 Jan 2012

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled last week that it is illegal for employers to require their workers to sign mandatory arbitration agreements that prevent them from joining together to file class-action employment-related lawsuits. Currently, an estimated25 percent of nonunion employees are forced to sign such agreements.

California Newsrooms Pool Resources for Overseas Story

californiawatch.org - 11 Jan 2012

Twelve news organizations split the cost of sending a reporter to Spain to examine the country’s high-speed rail system and pooled local resources for a series of transit stories. Is this a viable solution to preserve quality journalism in an era of cutbacks?

Cabanatuan Reflects on Decade as Pacific Media Guild President

Media Guild Blog - 11 Jan 2012

Still a member of the national Guild Executive Board, Michael Cabanatuan turned over the reins of Local 39521 at the end of 2011. “It’s been a good 10 years during a lousy 10 years,” he writes. “Even though we've been under attack for most of the past decade, we've maintained contracts that protect decent working conditions for our surviving members, and we've helped our former members who've been forced out the doors.”

Related: In These Times: Class War at the Gray Lady? New York Times Gives Millions to CEO While Pushing Concessions on Union

inthesetimes.com/ - 10 Jan 2012

The New York Times has long been held up as journalism's standard bearer. Thus it seems only fitting that The New York Times Company gave departing CEO Janet Robinson a nearly $15 million severance package while demanding that its current employees take benefit and pay cuts. (Robinson gained early and immediate access to her full pension of $10.9 million, and will earn $4.5 million working as a consultant for the company in 2012.)

Doug Page: Digital First? Not So Fast

News and Tech - 10 Jan 2012

"Shakespeare suggested we kill the lawyers and let's hope the same fate awaits the newspaper cognoscenti who see a terminal disease in every printed newspaper. While their collective "wisdom" on print lacks any foresight, what's more disturbing is that newspaper execs, given their reluctance to explore new distribution models, are escorting their printed editions to the graveyard - and helping to bury their businesses, too." Page is a columnist for News & Tech.

Manchester Guild to Gingrich: Here’s a Chance to Act Presidential

Manchester Newsguild - 10 Jan 2012

Taking full advantage of their state’s moment in the national spotlight, embattled TNG-CWA members at the New Hampshire Union Leader say Newt Gingrich could help resolve their labor dispute with a single phone call to publisher Joe McQuaid, who endorsed Gingrich. “This could help prove Mr. Gingrich’s presidential timber,” Local President Norm Welsh said in a news release Jan. 4. “As president, he would often need to find common ground between adversaries.”

NY Guild’s Open Letter to Times Publisher Sulzberger

Save Our Times - 10 Jan 2012

In an open letter to Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. from the Newspaper Guild of New York, 566 current and former employees ask that he reverse his decision to freeze the pensions of foreign citizens working in overseas bureaus and withdraw a proposal to freeze the pensions of Guild-represented staff.

IFJ Implores UN to Act After Another Deadly Year for Journalists

International Federation of Journalists - 10 Jan 2012

With another 106 journalists and media staff killed worldwide in 2011, the International Federation of Journalists is urging the United Nations to take action against what it calls a “prevailing culture of impunity for crimes against journalists.” In a letter to the UN secretary general, IFJ President Jim Boumelha writes, “It is abundantly clear that deadly violence against journalists is not just a blip due to conflicts around the world but has become a regular cycle in many countries where journalists are hunted down, targeted and murdered by the enemies of press freedom.”

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