Hundreds of unionized newsroom employees at Gannett Company sites in New York state and elsewhere walked off the job to protest corporate cutbacks.
The one-day action was organized by units of the NewsGuild, which describes itself as “the largest union of communications employees in North America.”
Employees of Gannett’s Central New York newspapers – the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, the Star Gazette in Elmira and the Ithaca Journal – are not represented by unions.
Workers at the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester participated in the strike.
The union said the action was taken in response Gannett’s “laying off 400 employees and cutting another 400 open positions in August, which represented 3% of staff.”
Gannett reporters have complained about low wages, which have prompted some to work other jobs in order to pay their bills.
The company recently announced to cost-cutting measures including a hiring freeze and five-day unpaid furloughs for workers during the holiday season.
In recent years, big staff reductions have been made at Gannett sites across the country, including in Binghamton.
In 2018, the company’s 12-year-old Johnson City printing plant where 98 people worked was shut down. The Press & Sun-Bulletin now is printed in the Rochester area.
The Binghamton paper has been reducing the number of days it publishes a print edition. Print issues no longer are produced on Saturdays or on holidays.
In response to the one-day strike by unionized employees, Gannett issued a statement that said: “We continue to bargain in good faith to finalize contracts that provide equitable wages and benefits for our valued employees.”
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