We encourage our members to rally behind colleagues at the Springfield State Journal-Register as they seek to join the United Media Guild.
Those journalists have faced layoffs, pay freezes and increased workloads as the financially troubled GateHouse chain reorganized its newspaper and digital operations.
Our goal is to help them through this difficult period — just as we have helped employees at two neighboring GateHouse newspapers, the Peoria Journal Star and the Pekin Daily Times. For instance, our Journal Star unit rallied public support behind its negotiations and bargained a new contract that prevented GateHouse’s from outsourcing its copy editing to Rockford, Ill.
We believe Guild membership is more important and valuable than ever before. Many SJ-R employees agreed and signed cards requesting an election.
The National Labor Relations Board will set an election date once the bargaining unit is defined. If the Guild and GateHouse can’t agree on that definition, the NLRB will hold hearing with the two sides and address the discrepancy.
We hope SJ-R employees will elect to unionize this fall. If the Guild is voted in, we would immediately begin representing those employees on workplace issues.
Our new members would set their negotiating priorities for their first collective bargaining agreement with GateHouse.
The Guild is fighting to preserve the craft of journalism and protect the vital role newspapers serve in their communities. We look forward to SJ-R staffers joining our quest.