Friday, June 13, 2008

...and then there was one

Well, it's official. Guild organizers in Northern California have succeeded in undoing a carefully wrought plan for their obsolescence, and voted to establish a single bargaining unit, representing a "cluster" of newspapers instead of a single newsroom.

There's more information on the One Big BANG Web site.

It sounds like hyperbole, but this event just might represent a turning point for our industry, which has seen journalists marginalized and bullied into quiet acquiescence as their newsrooms and communities were torn asunder by corporate looters. The hard part isn't over yet - not by a long shot. But that crucial first step has been taken, and with time and effort, the rest will follow.

It can't happen soon enough.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great, now the union can finally focus its energy on Southern California.

835 said...

Great news! We should try something like that down here. Let's have a LANG-wide guild...and soon.

Anonymous said...

"Great, now the union can finally focus its energy on Southern California."



Yeah right.

Anonymous said...

Since TNG and CWA merged we are an afterthought.
And of course TNG will blame the worker and not take responsibility for their lack of planning for the massive layoffs and change in the newspaper industry. The Hollywood writers guild can get it done. Strong contracts make strong newspapers.

ASNE 2008 Census: April 13, 2008.
" An estimated 2,400 journalists left newsrooms in 2007 through a combination of buyouts and layoffs. Since 2001, newsrooms have lost an estimated 3,800 professionals, a 6.7 percent decline. But the largest loss came last year. "

We are are going to die from the inside out.

Figgie said...

Let us speak from the FUCKING HEART!!!

former journo said...

" Anonymous said...
Great, now the union can finally focus its energy on Southern California."

Get a Clue!
It wasn't "the guild" working up there and expending all that energy, it was the employees who didn't need someone to hit them over the head for them to realize that a union IS THE MEMBERS!
Just like anything else in life, you get out of it, what you put into it.

former journo said...

"Anonymous said...

Since TNG and CWA merged we are an afterthought.
And of course TNG will blame the worker and not take responsibility for their lack of planning for the massive layoffs and change in the newspaper industry."

Gee, how long ago was the merger now? Oh yeah, THAT must be the problem.
(FYI: it was voted on in June 2001)

As for what's happening to the industry, the newspaper owners need to shoulder a big chunk of responsibility for that. For years they've been sucking all the value out of their papers and refusing to invest in the future (i.e. quality websites, new software, updated equipment, decent staffing levels, employee training, etc).

"Strong contracts make strong newspapers."

Strong members make strong unions and then you get strong contracts...

Anonymous said...

Ok so what is the plan?
Sounds like the combination of leadership and members made the difference up there.
I think they had a plan to start with. MediaNews has been in SoCal for more than a decade. I think its about time we moved forward and the guild leadership hopefully give 9400 members the confidence that there is a plan. Cause the days of separate contracts are over and the time for " One Big LANG " is here.

Anonymous said...

"The Hollywood writers guild can get it done."

The went on strike to "get it done", remember? Are you advocating one in SoCal?

Anonymous said...

"... the days of separate contracts are over and the time for " One Big LANG " is here."

Why not? Let's do it!

Anonymous said...

Strike would be great lets do it.

Anonymous said...

An attempt to unionize -- albeit a feeble one -- was made when there still was a paste-up shop at the SGV Tribune. Shortly after MediaNews took over, and in the aftermath of what initially happened at Long Beach, there was a cry to unionize SGV papers. Even then, there was fear in the workers for their jobs. There was a vote, but most voted against making the move because of that fear.