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TNG-CWA Journalists Withhold Bylines To Protest Contract Proposals

February 6, 2014

Miami staffers protest AP's cheAP contract offer. Left to right: David Fischer, Christine Armario, Jorge Trimarchi, Suzette Laboy, Gisela Salomon and the newest Guild member in Florida, Michael Mishak. Wilfredo Lee stands in back.

Below: The front page of the Manchester Union Leader.


Fed up with their employers' terrible contract demands, members of The Newspaper Guild-CWA have launched two actions in the past week that are unique to journalists: byline strikes.

Last week, Associated Press members represented by the News Media Guild had widespread success when they withheld their bylines for a day. "About 110 of 115 bureaus, plus a total of about 20 departments in Washington, D.C., and New York City, participated in the daylong protest," NMG reports. "Lots of non-writing staffers proudly wore their red Guild shirts all day and took photos, and many expressed their feelings about the latest contract offers from The Associated Press with Tweets using our hashtag, #fairAPcontract."

Per language in many Guild contracts, reporters and photographers have the right to withhold their bylines and credit lines. For stories, some papers will use no byline; others may say "Staff Report."

That's the case at the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, where Guild members began a 10-day byline strike Wednesday. Participation "is 100 percent!!!" local President Norm Welsh reports.

After years of making concessions for their employer, Manchester Guild members have been offered what the local calls "the worse proposal ever seen." It even demands an 18 percent retroactive pay cut. Members hope the byline strike will get the public's attention and put pressure on the company.

For details about the contract offers and battles being waged, click here for AP coverage and here for the latest story about Manchester.