A labor union dedicated to quality journalism through fair working conditions for the men and women who provide the news.

The Guild represents workers at The Associated Press, United Press International, and employees of the Spanish EFE News Service

NMG VIdeo

Hey, AP: Don't kick working spouses and domestic partners off your health plan!

AP UNIT

Members

Benefits

Guild News

Font Size

We got good news Thursday from The Associated Press -- its estimated pension debt has dropped from $223 million in 2013 to an estimated $37.6 million.

A $7.6 million payment in 2013 and a $110 million payment this year, which included the proceeds from AP's sale of Stats Inc., significantly reduced the interest due on future payments.

AP also shaved three years off the time in which it will even have a pension debt. By 2019, The AP estimates it will owe $342,000 to pay off the pension debt.

"It's wonderful to see that The AP has taken steps to pay down the pension and is no longer operating with such a huge debt," News Media Guild President Martha Waggoner said. "We certainly hope the AP decides it can now be more generous with the Guild-covered staff."

The Guild and the AP are in their 15th month of bargaining. Bargainers for the Guild and AP met Wednesday and Thursday in off-the-record sessions and will resume bargaining Sept. 23 and Sept. 24.

Minneapolis rally with AP, Star Tribune guild members

Minneapolis rally with AP, Star Tribune guild members

AP staffers across the country are again protesting the company’s cheAP and anti-family contract proposals, including leafleting at dozens of public locations throughout the week.

From Miami to Olympia, Wash., Guild-covered workers have been passing out flyers detailing AP’s giveback commands and seeking public support. They’ve been leafleting in front of the offices of AP member newspapers and broadcasters, at state Capitols and other government buildings, outside AP bureaus and at other high-traffic public locations.

The latest round of protests coincides with the resumption Wednesday and Thursday of bargaining between the News Media Guild and The Associated Press – now in its 14th month.

Leafleting outside APME meeting in Chicago

Leafleting outside APME meeting in Chicago

Protests this week have included a big demonstration with protest signs and chanting in front of AP’s NYC base, leafleting outside the APME meeting in Chicago and a rally and leafleting at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where the paper’s own guild members joined the AP staffers.

At the Indianapolis leafleting event at the Capitol there, one NMG member discussed contract talks with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence after giving him a flier. Atlanta staffers leafleted for the third time in 10 days, at AP member WSB-TV, after passing out flyers on Sept. 8 and 9 at a city hotel where AP managers were meeting for a training session.

“Guild-covered staffers have been escalating their protests as bargaining stretches on. This clearly shows how much they oppose AP's anti-family demands, including kicking working spouses off AP's health insurance and the ability to force workers to transfer to another bureau -- on top of a raise that doesn't keep pace with inflation," said NMG President Martha Waggoner.

Rally opposite AP headquarters in Manhattan

Rally opposite AP headquarters in Manhattan

Read more ...

Friends of Chris Duncan, an AP sports reporter and News Media Guild member who died last week, will hold a celebration of his life Sept. 20.
The service will start at 11 a.m. and be held at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors, 1010 Bering Drive, Houston, Texas. His friends also have set up a Facebook page titled Remembering Chris Duncan to share photos and memories.
n lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests to honor the memory of Chris by making a donation to The Living Bank, P.O. Box
6725, Houston, Texas 77265,

  • www.livingbank.org
  • chrisduncan
    Duncan, who was 43 when he died, had recently returned to work after a kidney transplant. Authorities confirmed his death Sept. 8. A cause wasn’t released.
    Guild President Martha Waggoner spoke with Chris's parents to let them know of the Guild's sorrow at their loss and to offer the union's help.
    Duncan was a 20-year AP employee who started with the news cooperative as an editorial assistant in 1994 in Louisville, Kentucky. He worked in Raleigh, North Carolina, before returning to Louisville and moving to Houston in 2005.
    He joined the AP's sports department in 2009 His beat included coverage of the NFL's Texans and the NBA's Rockets.
    According to The Living Bank transplant organization, Duncan received a kidney transplant from a friend after posting about a condition on Facebook. He had just returned to work at The AP in early August.

    AP airlines writer and News Media Guild member Scott Mayerowitz won the Beat of the Week for his interview with one of the passengers involved in a fight about reclining seats on airplanes.
    Mayerowitz won the $500 award for his interview with James Beach, who had used the Knee Defender to prevent the passenger in front of him from reclining her seat. The fight caused United Airlines to divert the Newark-to-Denver flight and kick both passengers off in Chicago.
    Scott Mayerowitz
    Beach contacted Mayerowitz on Twitter after seeing his story about the travails that airline passengers face today. He confirmed Beach’s identification as the passenger in seat 12B and produced both a text and radio story from the interview.

    Read more ...
    Barbara Rodriguez of Des Moines, Iowa, bureau

    Barbara Rodriguez of Des Moines, Iowa, bureau

    In early August, I attended a conference held by the Communications Workers of America on mobilizing young leadership within union locals.

    I wasn’t looking forward to the conference because I was feeling apathetic about work. The long contract negotiations had me down. It would have been easier to tune out than to attend an event where I’d be told how critical union participation is.

    I left three days later rejuvenated and ready to work.

    At the conference, I was surrounded by newspaper employees (Wall Street Journal, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Chicago Sun-Times, to name a few) who shared their experiences of contract negotiations. I spoke with union members of other organizations within CWA, too. They also told me their stories of stalled talks.

    The consensus? The road is long and hard. You get what you put in.

    Read more ...