Digital Producers at the Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT) Win Union Vote
21 workers will be represented by NewsGuild of New York Following Mail-in Vote at the NLRB
NEW YORK -- Digital Producers at the Atlantic Digital Optimization Team voted to be represented by The NewsGuild of New York Local 31003 in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board that concluded today. The 21-person unit consists of digital producers across five states that make up Gannett’s Atlantic region.
The vote followed an aggressive anti-union campaign by management that prompted workers to file Unfair Labor Practice charges against the company.
“We may only now be officially certified as a union, but the strength of our unit was built and solidified months ago. We went public with supermajority support, and only went through this drawn-out process because of Gannett’s persistent anti-union agenda,” said Digital Producer Jack McLoone. “Like The Record Guild before us, and the Hudson Valley News Guild soon to come, nothing management did could keep us from advocating for ourselves and our dignity. We look forward to continuing to do so at the bargaining table.”
“This is a great day to be a part of the Atlantic DOT Guild,” said Jessica Limonchi, who is also a digital producer. “We’ve won two things today: not just the election, but also status quo protections for all of us. It will be nice to join our friends at The Record Guild again, this time at the bargaining table with Gannett.”
Staffers at The Atlantic DOT Guild work across a five-state region that comprises 37 websites in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. They announced they were forming a union with the NewsGuild of New York Local 31003 in early June.
“Building worker power in the Gannett chain — the nation’s largest — will strengthen local news and lift standards across the industry,” said Susan DeCarava, President of the NewsGuild of New York.
Digital producers’ main responsibility is preparing articles and multimedia content for online readers. They design the visual flow of stories, create graphics for social media, craft headlines, optimize content for search engines and curate readers’ experience with news through social media, website management and delivering alerts and newsletters. In short, a producer’s job is to prioritize the reader.
The NewsGuild of New York filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge earlier this summer with the National Labor Relations Board over union busting actions by Gannett after managers offered benefits in exchange for rejecting the union and implied a promise of benefits by soliciting grievances during the voting period. The charges also include allegations that management created the impression that it was spying on the workers’ protected union activity.
The Atlantic DOT Guild is the second of three Gannett unions to form this year in the company’s Atlantic Region. On May 7, workers at the Bergen Record, NJ Herald and Daily Record voted in favor of joining the NewsGuild of New York and workers at The Journal News, Times Herald-Record and Poughkeepsie Journal went public and filed for a union election on July 14. Mail ballots are scheduled to be sent to workers this Friday.
ABOUT THE NEWSGUILD OF NEW YORK
The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 4,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, TIME, PEOPLE, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. The NewsGuild of New York advocates for journalists to have a voice in the newsroom, for press freedom, for inclusive and diverse workplaces, and for just cause, no exceptions, for all media professionals.
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