AUSTIN, DALLAS, FORT WORTH, Texas – Texas’ three unionized newsrooms are logging off for a one-hour lunch break to demand fair contracts to protect employees and improve working conditions.
The Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth news guilds announced that they are using their lunch break on April 26, 2022, to stand up for their newsrooms in a strong showing of solidarity.
Texas news will be stronger when these three organizations have fair contracts and sustainable working conditions. But Texas’ unionized newsrooms are facing similar stalling tactics from their respective companies: extended delays at the bargaining table, rejecting proposals without thoughtful counter offers and ignoring union rights.
“It’s time for our employers to start valuing and listening to the Texas journalists who do so much for their communities,” Katie Hall, Austin NewsGuild Unit Council Chair.
This unprecedented act of unity and strength has the overwhelming support of workers. At noon central, workers in all three newsrooms will log out of their work email and/or work Slack accounts to take their lunch break.
“As the pandemic has wrought chaos across our state in the last two years, local journalists have answered the call. While selflessly covering the tragic and inspiring stories in our communities, they’ve simultaneously been organizing for increased job protections and more supportive working conditions,” Dallas News Guild president Dom DiFurio said.
“It’s time for our newsrooms’ owners to answer the call to finalize initial contracts with Newsguild journalists.”
Better working conditions for these newsrooms mean better news for their communities. If Gannett, DallasNews Corp. and McClatchy really care about their readers and their employees, they can work with the guilds to protect and support the journalism that keeps communities informed.
“Local journalism is the bedrock of a functioning and healthy democracy. But it can only work if reporters have the resources and working conditions they need to hold the powerful to account and keep communities informed,” said Fort Worth NewsGuild President Isaac Windes.
The Texas news guilds are united in serving their communities with quality local journalism created by unionized newsrooms where workers have a voice. The Texas shops are in critical stages of their contract campaign fights, working to protect journalists from unrestricted outsourcing, stagnant wages, chronic overwork and no notice firings.
“Today, we stand together in support of democratizing our newsrooms and restoring power to workers,” DiFurio said.
Dom DiFurio, Dallas Morning News: (469)525-0721
Veronica Serrano, Austin NewsGuild: (210) 883-4514
Emily Brindley, Fort Worth NewsGuild: (860) 918-8021