Buffalo hosted national meeting of Multi-District Council members

multidistrict council members at canalside
Multi-District Council members visited Canalside. (Sandy Tan/Buffalo News)

The Guild was pleased to host members of the NewsGuild-CWA’s 2017 Multi-District Council in June.

Several Buffalo News employees participated in the weekend’s meeting and interacted with members from across the country and Puerto Rico.

NewsGuild Executive Vice President Marian Needham spoke about proposed legislation from Congress that would gut unions as we know them. More action will follow from the Guild and CWA to combat this proposal and it was a main topic of the 76th CWA Convention in Pittsburgh.

“The federal legislation being considered by Congress is truly terrifying,” said President Sandy Tan.

On Saturday, members took part in a skills-building workshop to learn more effective ways to reach out to current and potential membership. At the Sunday morning session, representatives of each region gave an update from their membership.

Some highlights from other regions include:

  • Toledo ratified their contract on Sept. 13 after two and a half years of negotiation and 15 years without a raise
  • The Akron Beacon-Journal is in negotiations over Ohio.com.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle has begun negotiations with Hearst. The paper has been making money for three years.
  • In Minnesota, 11 contracts were settled, almost all of which gave members raises and involved no givebacks.
  • In Chicago, The Reader, an alternative weekly, was organized.
  • The Washington Post has started bargaining without much progress and has signed up 45 new members in the past three months. The company implemented a new social media policy that the Guild is fighting because it’s overbroad.
  • The Baltimore City Paper wants to end publication and seven employees are negotiating severance.
  •  Time Inc. laid off 300 people, including a dozen Guild members.
  • The Boston Globe has complete reorganized its newsroom with a focus on digital. The company has moved production to Taunton and moved the newsroom downtown to State Street. The Guild has a grievance for paid parking downtown

Following the meetings, members visited Canalside, Niagara Falls and took a ride on Maid of the Mist.