When: Monday, June 5, 2023, 9:30 a.m.-10 a.m..
Where: Corner of Dixie Highway and Belvedere Road (outside Palm Beach Post building)
WEST PALM BEACH — Newsroom staff for The Palm Beach Post and The Palm Beach Daily News have made the difficult decision to go on strike Monday, June 5, as the papers’ owner, Gannett, has yet to meet workers’ demands for liveable wages, respectable benefits and better newsroom stability.
Newsroom staff will rally at 9:30 a.m. on the southwest corner of South Dixie Highway and Belvedere Road, by The Palm Beach Post. Anyone who wants to stand with local news and help cover lost wages for our colleagues can donate at https://gofund.me/cb9a9e01.
Together, our papers unanimously voted to unionize in June 2023. Nearly three years later, Gannett has barely budged.
All we want is a fair contract and enough income to allow us to live in the communities we cover. We want to remain steadfast in our mission statement: “preserve our role as a resource in our community, a voice for the voiceless and a watchdog that holds the powerful accountable.”
The Post and Daily News have lost half their staff since 2018 under Mike Reed, the CEO of our papers’ parent company. Many were laid off, while others took buyouts or just quit after years of being denied raises, all the while being asked to cover for the colleagues we lost.
Gannett is America’s biggest newspaper publisher. It owns hundreds of papers across the nation, including The Post and Daily News. But instead of managing its money smartly, under Reed’s leadership it has laid off our colleagues, removed layers of editing and killed local events we used to put on for our communities.
As we’ve lost editors, photographers and reporters our papers have gotten thinner while Gannett charges subscribers higher rates.
Many of us have gotten no raises in years, amounting to annual pay cuts due to the dramatic cost-of-living increases of the past few years.
Some of our colleagues have to take second jobs to afford rent and bills, or have to live with roommates. Saving up to afford a house and become a homeowner is a pipe dream for newer colleagues.
Two weeks ago, the union we belong to, NewsGuild-CWA (Communications Workers of America) sent a letter to Gannett shareholders urging a vote of no-confidence against Reed, pointing to grossly mismanaged finances and misplaced priorities, specifically the foregoing of investments in newsrooms in order to service its self-incurred debt burden. The letter warned that Reed’s shortsighted leadership was tainting the company’s reputation, turning off subscribers, forcing out talented staff and creating legal risks by hampering proper vetting of stories and violating federal labor law.
Gannett journalists also held a webinar in May with shareholders explaining how Reed’s mismanagement had demoralized newsrooms and made it impossible for reporters to have the resources to produce quality journalism.
Our communities deserve good journalism. We are proud to deliver it. We ask that Gannett fully and fairly support our work.