Organizing Update

Hilton Head Island Packet, Beaufort Gazette

Last week, journalists at The Hilton Head Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette announced that they are forming the Packet/Gazette Guild. More than 80 percent of eligible reporters, photographers, and producers at the newspapers, both owned by McClatchy, signed cards authorizing union representation by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild/CWA Local 32035. Two days later, President and Editor Brian Tolley announced the company would voluntarily recognize the union – the first voluntary recognition by a McClatchy publication in recent years.

"I'm proud of the work that I do at the Packet, and I'm equally proud of the efforts my colleagues and I are making to improve our workplace," said Rachel Jones, an education reporter and a member of the union organizing committee. "Creating these protections for our newsroom will ultimately lead to better coverage of Beaufort County, and it's an honor to lead the way in organizing for the Carolinas."

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People Magazine

Digital employees of People Magazine voted last week 45-3 in favor of joining the NewsGuild of New York/CWA Local 31003. As a result of the vote, digital workers at People will join their print colleagues, who have been represented by the NewsGuild for decades.

Digital staffers are seeking to close the arbitrary "print-digital divide" and negotiate a contract that extends the same robust benefits and protections the magazine's print staffers have enjoyed for years to everyone in the newsroom.

"The experience of People digital working together as a group to help secure a future for ourselves – and our publication – has been an inspiring and rewarding process," said Staff Crime Editor Laura Barcella. "We're all looking forward to finally securing a strong contract with Meredith."

Greg Hanlon, Crime News Editor, said, "We're proud we came together as a newsroom to secure the future of People. As a staff, we feel empowered – and we believe an empowered, united staff is one that will produce the best-quality work."

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Ewing-Lawrence Sewerage Authority

On August 31, CWA Local 1032 won card check recognition for 32 operators, mechanics, and laborers employed by the Ewing-Lawrence Sewerage Authority. Workers reached out to CWA because they wanted the solidarity and support of a union with experience representing public sector workers in New Jersey.