Our response to recent anti-union messaging

More than a week ago, representatives from The Morning Call Guild asked Tribune Publishing to voluntarily recognize our efforts to unionize. Now, we wish to address recent anti-union messaging and reiterate our reasons for unionizing.

The union is a grassroots group of journalists from The Morning Call newsroom seeking a voice with an out-of-touch corporation long after our direct supervisors are gone. We want a say in the unilateral decisions our corporate owners make about us, for us and without us, from which local management can only do so much to shield us.

Benevolence will not give us better working conditions or end pay disparities, guarantee better health insurance or retirement benefits, and much more. It offers nothing while job descriptions and responsibilities continue to change without warning or negotiation. We can no longer come to work with a guarantee that our careers can sustain us economically, and refuse to exist as cogs in an organization that seems to no longer respect our craft.

Nearly 80 percent of our newsroom have signed cards stating they want to be part of this union. That door will remain open to anyone who wishes to have a seat at the table.

We are not interested in looking back to 2004. If we want to do that, we can also point out that 15 years ago we had more than double the staff we have today. Our effort is energized and we are ready to act in the best interest of the entire staff.

In the best interest of the entire staff are annual raises. The ones distributed in 2018 were the first in many of us received in years. Additionally, the promotions for some staffers to salaried "senior" status did little but give them a meaningless title and questionable status where they’re ineligible for overtime.

In the past three months, many of our award-winning journalists left after taking voluntary buyouts to cut salary expenses. If those staff members were so important to the company, they would still be with us. What was left in the wake of those departures is a staff where each person has, once again, inherited a greater workload.

The union is us. We will elect our own officers from inside the newsroom for our local union. Our only chance at negotiating fairly with a large corporation with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets is to channel the legal and financial resources of both the NewsGuild and the Communications Workers of America.

We know that The Morning Call occupies a special place in our community. That’s exactly what we want to preserve and why we want to build a future together and through fair, collective bargaining.

Tribune Publishing will not voluntarily take care of us. We need to protect ourselves.

We’re not interested in a feud. Our goal is to come to the table with the company and gain our rightful protections.

Our commitment to The Morning Call Guild is unshakable. After years of watching the damage inflicted on our beloved industry by corporate myopia and mismanagement, we are uniting our voices to say enough is enough.

We are confident and look forward to the election.

In solidarity,

The Morning Call Guild