US Reuters journalists strike for first time in decades
Reuters on Wednesday alerted clients that its U.S. journalists were planning to strike in response to ongoing contract negotiations between management and the NewsGuild, which represents its unionized staff.
why is it important: This is the first time in more than 30 years that unionized staff at Reuters are planning a strike for contract talks, according to the NewsGuild.
Details: Nearly 300 Reuters journalists walked off the job for 24 hours on Thursday “to protest the slow pace of management contract renewal negotiations”, according to a NewsGuild statement.
- The march includes reporters from seven bureaus across the United States. Many other journalists are expected to join them in various protest efforts, including picketing in front of Reuters News’ US headquarters in Times Square.
- Journalists are protesting management’s offer of a guaranteed annual salary increase of just 1%, which they say ‘would effectively mean a pay cut given the soaring cost of living’, the statement said. .
- The NewsGuild alleges that Reuters management failed to engage with reporters “and used delaying tactics to renew their collective bargaining agreement, which expired nearly 20 months ago on December 14, 2020.”
- He said he filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday in response to the tactics.
What they say : In a note to clients obtained by Axios, Reuters assured clients that it “will continue to deliver unrivaled range, breadth and quality of service, as we reinforce our commitment to journalistic excellence and value.”
- “We have extensive contingency plans in place to minimize this brief disruption and are confident that we will provide the highest quality of service to our customers,” the note said.
Reuters said in a statement that he “is fully engaged in constructive negotiations with the NewsGuild as we work toward a contract resolution for our unionized employees in the United States.”
- “These conversations are ongoing and we will continue to work with the Guild committee to agree mutually acceptable terms,” he added.
- Between the lines: The walkout came on the same day as Reuters’ quarterly earnings report. Reuters beat Wall Street’s earnings expectations and raised its full-year revenue forecast.
- “While we journalists are called away from our families in the middle of dinner, which we happily do for work, Reuters executives sit in the comfort of their home office managing the profits we bring to company,” Reuters video reporter Julio-César Chávez noted in the NewsGuild statement.
The big picture: Strikes, walkouts and threats from the two have increasingly been used in negotiations between editors and management, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, which has seen a record level of turmoil for newsrooms.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with comments from Reuters.