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Season 5, Episode 119

Tribune Newsroom workers get contract after five years of negotiating

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Jon Schleuss

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TNG-CWA 

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President of The NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America (TNG-CWA), Jon Schleuss, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about the first contract with eight Tribune Publishing newsrooms after five years of negotiations. He also talked about AI in newsrooms and also provided an update on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Strike.

After nearly five years of negotiations, the workers at the Tribune Publishing newsrooms in eight locations were able to agree on a first contract. The workers unionized around 2018, when the eight newsrooms came together to form a joint bargaining committee, and were in the midst of agreeing to a first contract with the then owner of the Tribune newsrooms. Schleuss said the workers lost those negotiations after Alden Global Capitol, a hedge fund responsible for the hollowing out of several newsrooms across the country. Despite that, workers remained united and worked together to come to a contract agreement that gave workers their first raises in the last five years and maintenance on their 401k matching program for the next two years.

Gannett is the largest publisher of newspapers in the country, and TNG-CWA represents workers in 50 locations owned by the company. The company is looking for cost-cutting measures, which has led to the implementation of artificial intelligence. Schleuss talked about the situation at the Palm Beach Post, where they are in first contract negotiations and why their employer is looking to upset the status quo. Gannett is trying to add language that would allow them to replace journalists with AI-generated content generators. He said there are a lot of problems with the implementation of AI in the newsroom, and with the inaccuracies of AI content. These cost-cutting measures are not the way forward for employers, he added.

Finally, Schleuss talked about the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Strike. Despite the strike being classified as the longest in TNG-CWA’s 91-year history, now over 18 months, the members are staying strong. Schleuss discussed the decision by Region 6 of the National Labor Relations Board to file a 10J injunction in federal court. This type of injunction would demand the employer follow the law or be in contempt of court, and Schleuss said this could be the solution for their workplace issues in Pittsburgh.

Listen to the show above to hear more from TNG-CWA.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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