Austin, Texas – – Journalists from the Austin American-Statesman and its six community newspapers have announced that they are taking steps to unite in the 150-year-old institution.
Much of the newspaper’s reporters, photographers, columnists, and other staff members have asked Gannett, the newspaper’s parent company, to volunteer for the Austin NewsGuild.
In a press release, organizers say the Austin NewsGuild, a unit of the NewsGuild-CWA, will work to build stability for newspaper journalists and strengthen coverage for readers in an increasingly unstable industry plagued by budget cuts and layoffs becomes, a lack of diversity and dwindling resources.
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Reportedly, a majority of unionized workers in the seven newsrooms have their names signed on a mission statement that sets out their union’s goals and vision. They demand a seat at the table when it comes to decisions that affect the future of newspapers.
The American-Statesman journalists filed a letter to the editorial board asking for voluntary recognition of their union efforts to circumvent the need for election and save time and money for the company and its employees.
The organizers say if Gannett doesn’t volunteer there will be a choice.
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The NewsGuild-CWA is the largest union of journalists and other communications workers in North America, representing more than 24,000 workers in the United States and Canada.