The NewsGuild-CWA is calling on the country's major corporate newspaper chains to commit to a set of ground rules that will ensure free and fair union elections for their employees.
Journalists at 10 news publications around the country, owned by national chains, including Gannett, McClatchy, and Tribune Publishing, recently announced union drives. Employees at each publication requested voluntary recognition. In each of the campaigns, the employer refused to offer voluntary recognition, forcing a four-week waiting period for an election.
During these waiting periods, employers typically retain high-priced consultants to conduct campaigns of intimidation, disinformation, and emotional manipulation. The purpose of these anti-union campaigns is to convince employees to vote against joining a union and prevent them from securing collective bargaining rights.
A December 2019 report by the Economic Policy Institute found that American employers spend an estimated $340 million annually on "union avoidance" firms to attempt to crush union elections. Consultants often report being paid $350 per hour or more, with some earning as much as $2,500 per day.
Alex Driehaus, a photojournalist for the Naples Daily News, said, "We want our members to be able to make an informed decision without fear of retribution, and we expect our management to maintain an environment where that is possible."