UMG files grievance with NFFWU (employer of FightFor15 organizers) over layoffs. Calls it retaliation for complaining about supervisor.

Mar 8, 2019 by

Two fast food organizers employed by the National Fast Food Workers Union (an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union) were recently laid off from their jobs.

The United Media Guild organized those NFFWU organizers in 2017 and, following a year of bargaining with that employer, secured a first contract in December of 2018.  It is one of our newest bargaining units with close to 50 workers in roughly 20 cities across the U.S.

Both of the women, who work in the southeast, had run-ins with a supervisor and filed harassment complaints about him with NFFWU Human Resources (the Guild had also previously filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the NLRB because of remarks made by that supervisor regarding one of the laid off women, who is also the Guild steward for that region).

So far the supervisor has not been held accountable for any of his actions and, in February, it was announced that layoffs were in the offing.  The Guild was informed that the layoffs would be based on what we were told was a comprehensive “Deep Dive” analysis of specific data points for each city.  And, when the layoffs were announced, the only cities affected were Atlanta and Greenville.  And that is where those women who filed harassment complaints are employed.  In fact, those women were the ONLY two in the entire  bargaining unit to lose their jobs.

The United Media Guild understands the times in which we live and we realize that there are times when, no matter how much it hurts, an employer may have to make cuts.  But we have a real problem with this.

We have filed a grievance and we have also requested the data study that the NFFWU cited as the reason for their decision.  In fact, in the three weeks since the layoffs, we have requested that information three separate times.  As of yet, it has not been provided.



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Ho! Ho! Ho!

Dec 18, 2018 by

Companies that employ union and nonunion workers, work tirelessly to keep the two factions separated.  The last thing they want is everyone hanging out together and their nonunion workers begin to think about organizing (“Hey Boss, how come the union guys get…?”).  This is especially true if the employer has more than one workplace (like a media chain).  Those employers send not so subtle messages to nonunion workers that they have it BETTER than their union counterparts.  And to make that point, they will give them little gifts, gifts they will deny their union workers (“See, you non-organized guys are our favorite – that’s why we treat you better!”).

Union negotiators understand this and, to combat it, try to get “me too” clauses inserted into their collective bargaining agreements.  Such provisions mandate that if a company decides to give one segment of its employees a gift, it has to give the employees covered by the agreement that same gift (hence the term “me too”).  It goes without saying, then, that corporations hate such provisions and fight against including them in their union contracts.  To that point, The United Media Guild just negotiated a new three year agreement at KSDK-TV and, thanks to our hard working unit chair (shout out to Phil Evans!), I just received this notice:




December 17, 2018

Shannon Duffy

Administrative Officer

United Media Guild

TNG-CWA Local 36047


Re:       One-time discretionary bonus payment


Dear Shannon:


Today, TEGNA announced a 2018 one-time discretionary bonus payment of $500.00 for current regular full-time and part-time non-bargaining unit employees, who are not part of an existing annual bonus program (regular full-time and part-time employees newly hired in 2018 will receive a pro-rated 2018 on-time discretionary bonus payment).  This discretionary bonus will be paid to employees on December 21, 2018 and will be subject to applicable state and federal taxes, along with any 401(k) contributions.


Pursuant to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, we are providing this one-time bonus to the Guild bargaining unit members.


Please advise if you have any questions or if you wish to discuss.


*           *          *          *          *


(And I heard Phil exclaim ‘ere he rode out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all my union sisters and brothers here’s a nice check!”)



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Post-Dispatch members ratify new agreement

Nov 16, 2018 by

By a tally of 78-4, Post-Dispatch members ratified a new three-year agreement which will run through September 30, 2021.  The new agreement calls for 2% wage increases in the first and third years, free parking (which had suddenly become important when the paper sold the building) and increased seniority protections (fewer exemptions are now allowed in each department when layoffs occur).  There is also a proviso for our sales representatives to receive $100 if they are not given their period goals before the start of the actual period.  The agreement increased the percentage of premium share for Guild members from 30% to 35% and it also increased the probationary period for new hires from nine months to one year.

While the wage increases are not large, after this contract our members will have received a 10% increase over six years and in an industry obsessed with declining advertising revenues and reducing labor costs, the election results convey the confidence of Post-Dispatch members that their bargaining team secured the best possible deal.

Negotiations took place over a two week period in St. Louis.  They were preceded by conversations in the workplace, meetings with individuals in every area and the distribution of surveys which were collected and tallied.  Thanks go out to all those who gave up their time to take part in this effort.   Special shout out to Joe Holleman, Post-Dispatch unit chair for shepherding the many moving parts.

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New Officers Announced

Oct 8, 2018 by

This past Thursday, at noon and 6 pm, a nomination meeting for Local Officers was held at the Guild Office, located at 1015 Locust St.  Members could show up and nominate someone for local office or, if they preferred, they could call in their nomination(s).


The following members were nominated:

For president – Jeff Gordon

For first vice president – David Carson

For second vice president – Joe Kenny

For recording secretary – Doug Moore

For treasurer – Letta Dansberry


There were no other nominations and, with no contested positions, there is no need for an election and those nominated will take office in January.

Treasurer John Muse had retired from his Post-Dispatch job mid-term and the Executive Committee will say a fond farewell to John at the end of this year.  John has served the Guild faithfully in a variety of positions over the years and we will miss his wise counsel and his passion for justice.  Taking John’s place as treasurer will be Letta Dansberry, a Post-Dispatch member from the sixth floor.  Like John, Letta has been an active member her entire time in our union.  In fact, this is not her first position on the EC; Letta previously served on the Guild Executive Committee in 2005.  Welcome back, Letta!

Nominations and election for all other EC positions will occur at soon-to-be-announced bargaining unit meetings (while Local Officers are elected by the full membership, Unit Chairs and delegates are elected by only those respective bargaining units).  All new unit positions will take effect in January as well.

All Local EC positions run for three years.

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KSDK-TV ratifies new three-year agreement

Oct 7, 2018 by

On September 28, at a noon bargaining unit meeting in conference room two at the KSDK Television Station, KSDK-TV Guild membership unanimously ratified a new three year agreement.  As previously reported, there are few changes in the agreement.  It includes a signing bonus and one additional holiday.

Our KSDK-TV bargaining unit is a small one and quite eclectic (we’re there because, once upon a time, Pulitzer owned them).  It is sometimes difficult to wrap one’s arms around the various areas we represent and I would like to commend KSDK-TV Unit Chair Phil Evans for his fine work at the bargaining table.

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