AP staffers rally outside NY headquarters to support Guild bargainers

Guild-covered AP staffers in New York rallied across the street from company headquarters Wednesday, as the union’s bargaining team continued to press The Associated Press for a contract that doesn’t cut their living standard and gut job security.

In New York, about 50 staffers joined the Guild’s hour-long lunchtime rally at some point. They hoisted picket signs with slogans such as: “Don’t bleed us with a cheAP health plan” and “AP: Stop dragging out talks. It’s time for a #fairAPcontract.”

As passing drivers honked, they chanted “What do we want? A fair contract. When do we want it? Now,” and other union chants. And they distributed hundreds of flyers asking pedestrians to support the Guild’s fight via our social media platforms.

Staffers from multiple departments in New York hold a protest rally outside AP headquarters Wednesday to show the company they demand a #fairAPcontract.

Staffers from multiple departments in New York hold a protest rally outside AP headquarters Wednesday to show the company they demand a #fairAPcontract.

Across town at contract bargaining, Guild negotiators questioned AP extensively about its proposal to create a new category of low-paid, dead-end “news associate” positions. The Guild team has told AP repeatedly that they and the staff oppose the idea because it could undermine job security for current staff and the quality of the journalism we produce, among other concerns.

Meanwhile, staffers in offices around the country sent their managers group emails rejecting the company’s cheAP contract offers.

Some also posed together for pictures to show their strong opposition to company proposals, including giving a thumbs-down to a big House for Sale sign to reject AP’s demand that it be able to force employees to transfer to another bureau or lose their job immediately.