What to know about anti-union tactics
We believe a strong union is in the best interests of our newsroom and our journalism, but Gannett/GateHouse has already tried to convince us otherwise. Without a real argument for why The Arizona Republic’s journalists should not unite, the company has to spin stories of pay cuts and newsroom strife.
We’ve heard a few of them already. Before we announced our campaign, the company forced us to sit through staff meetings and sent emails designed to create confusion and scare off potential support. It was the same tired script that companies have used for years.
It’s called the Union-Busting Playbook.
Let’s break it down.
The Union-Busting Playbook relies on half-truths and misinformation. To scare off support, companies try to paint unions as shadowy groups of outsiders who are only in it for themselves. The arguments are cut-and-paste: “The union just wants your money.” “The union only cares about young people.” “The union will only divide the newsroom.”
None of that is true.
In truth, the Arizona Republic Guild is a diverse group of journalists from every corner of the newsroom. Our membership includes 30-year veterans and new hires. It was built by Republic journalists, for Republic journalists, to represent Republic journalists.
2. ASKING FOR ANOTHER CHANCE
Notice a lot of free donuts in the newsroom lately? Us, too.
Since we’ve started organizing, the company has tried to buy our silence with sweet treats, lunch dates and a pay study that raised more questions than it answered.
To that, we have two responses:
Too little, too late.
If this is what organizing has caused already, imagine what victories await.
3. DIVIDING THE NEWSROOM
We know that we’re stronger together than alone. The company knows that, too, so they’ll try to break us apart. They’ll manufacture divisiveness and blame it on our effort, then insist that we’re more than a newsroom — we’re a family.
They’ll take employees aside and try to convince them to oppose the union, pry for union details or hint at promotions or raises in the future.
If this happens, remember — the right to organize is enshrined into federal law. Here’s a handy explanation from the National Labor Relations Board.
4. AN APPEAL TO JOURNALISM
The company has already told us that a union will hurt our journalism. Actually, the opposite is true: We are uniting to protect our journalism.
Good journalism requires good journalists, and we’ve already seen years of cuts chip away at the Republic’s vital public service role. By protecting ourselves, we can ensure that our newsroom stays strong, diverse and focused on quality journalism.
PS — The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Associated Press and Reuters have two things in common: They all have unions, and this year, they all won Pulitzers.