Union representation provides critical protections for workers, especially during corporate mergers. As two of the largest newspaper chains in the country, GateHouse and Gannett News, plan to merge, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) are fighting to ensure that company employees aren't left behind. The senators sent a letter to urge Gannett News and GateHouse to voluntarily recognize any union selected by a majority of workers in any GateHouse- or Gannett-owned newsroom.
"Union representation will empower workers to advocate not only for themselves but also their newspapers and communities," the senators wrote. "In many communities, local newspapers are the primary source of news and information, yet the consequences of closing or hollowing out a newspaper are not considered by news executives seeking to maximize shareholder value and profit. Through collective bargaining with the newsrooms, affected communities will have a voice in decisions about their newspapers."
The letter was also signed by Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).