The threat of Alden Global Capital

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The newspaper unions of Tribune Publishing — representing hundreds of employees across the company — are gravely concerned by Tuesday’s news that Alden Global Capital has purchased enough shares to make it the company’s largest shareholder.

In an email to staff, Tim Knight, CEO of Tribune Publishing said: “A change of investor, even a large investor, will not have a direct impact on how we conduct our daily activities.”
 
We strongly disagree. We don’t see Tuesday’s news as simply another change in stock ownership.

Alden is not a company that invests in newspapers so they succeed. They buy into newspaper businesses with the express purpose of harvesting out huge profits, well-above industry standards, and slashing staff and resources  — until the papers ultimately closed.  This has been proven over and over again.

We know we’re faced with the very real threat that Alden is looking to bleed its next chain of newspapers dry.

This news about Alden does not deter us, however, in our continuing fight for our members and for the work we do in our communities. We move forward, joining the call to Save Local News, led by the newspapers owned by Alden under its Digital First Media.

Unlike Tribune and Alden, we believe local journalism is worth fighting for.

#SaveLocalNews

Signed,

The Chicago Tribune Guild

The Tidewater Guild

The Morning Call Guild

The Chesapeake Guild

The Hartford Courtant Guild

The Baltimore Sun Guild

 

Southern Poverty Law Center files for union representation

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Staff at the Southern Poverty Law Center — a historic Civil Rights organization advancing social justice through legal, educational and advocacy efforts primarily in the Deep South — are forming a union.

A supermajority of employees spanning SPLC’s 11 offices across five states and Washington, D.C., today filed a union election petition with the National Labor Relations Board requesting representation by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, Local 32035 of The News Guild-Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO.

The SPLC Union organizing committee is calling on SPLC leadership to stand by the principles that animate the nonprofit — equity, justice and diversity — by voluntarily recognizing the Union and respecting employees’ call for deep and lasting engagement in the future of the Center.

“We ask SPLC’s senior leaders to respect the desire of its dedicated employees to form a union and have a say in what the future of the Center looks like,” the committee said. “Current leadership has committed itself to the task of changing SPLC’s workplace culture. Collective bargaining ensures workers the opportunity to play a leading role in this transformation.”

“Forty years after the Greensboro Massacre, we hope to rekindle the flame of labor organizing in the Deep South and form a strong union at SPLC that lays the foundation for a legacy of equal rights, respect and dignity for all workers, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, and national origin.”

Washington-Baltimore News Guild Organizing Director Bruce Jett said, “The Washington-Baltimore News Guild supports — and is proud to represent — SPLC staff. Workers rights are human rights. Today, a supermajority of SPLC’s workforce took a historic step toward upholding and protecting those rights.”

The News Guild filed the petition in Baltimore, Md., this morning. The organizing committee awaits the response of SPLC’s senior leadership and stands ready to work together with management and begin negotiating the organization’s first contract.

To contact the SPLC Union, email us at union.splc@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @SPLCUnion.

To contact Bruce Jett with the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, call 703-627-4547 or e-mail bjett@wbng.org.

Find the Washington-Baltimore News Guild on Twitter @WBNG32035.

Reminder: Front Page Awards 9/26!

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All are invited to join us in celebrating our Front Page Award Winners at our Awards Ceremony on 9/26/2019. 


6:30-8:30


MindSpace


1301 K Street NW


Washington, DC 20005


Program Starts at 7 p.m.


Please RSVP via EventBrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/front-page-awards-by-washington-baltimore-new-guild-tickets-70668775209 so we have enough food and beverages.

Questions? Please contact Peter Brusoe at PWBrusoe@gmail.com 

Lambda Legal signs first contract

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On Monday, Lambda Legal announced its inaugural contract! From the unit: 
 
Two years ago, Lambda Legal staff made the decision to unionize after learning firsthand how tenuous non-union employee protections can be. Today, we announce the completion of our inaugural contract.
 
We are grateful for the support of our colleagues and advice of our union, the Washington-Baltimore News Guild. Though the road here was neither quick nor easy, we are proud to have reached this agreement. And more importantly, we are proud to move forward together to ensure that Lambda Legal’s own workplace reflects its mission and organizational values.
 
For Lambda Legal staff, unionizing was about guaranteeing that those of us putting in 50-60 (or more) hours of work each week do not have to worry about what will happen when we need a break. It was about ensuring that we and our partners and families do not need to choose paying rent over affording to take our sick children to the doctor. It was about getting the health care that we need – care that our clients and communities depend on us to fight for. It was about our futures, and our futures at Lambda Legal.
 
This contract is security. It is knowing that Lambda Legal will be there for us so that we can continue to be there for those who need our help. It is the increased strength and efficacy of an organization – an organization that we and so many others believe in – when staff are guaranteed a seat at the table.
 
That is what unionizing means, and that is what this day means to us.
 
In solidarity,
The newest WBNG unit

2019 Front Page Award Winners

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The Washington-Baltimore News Guild Local 32035 is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Front Page Awards. These awards recognize outstanding contributions in the fields of journalism, photography and artwork published in 2018. Each entry was adjudicated by an outside panel of experts. The honorees will be recognized at a ceremony on September 26, 2019, along with the 2017 and 2018 contest entries. Please join us in honoring these outstanding professionals for their work and dedication.

Morton Mintz Award for Investigative Reporting or
Public Service Reporting
1. Dylan Segelbaum of The York Daily Record for “Why thousands in Pa. have had their licenses suspended without a DUI or driving violation”

2. Yvonne Wenger of The Baltimore Sun for “The Wait,” a three-part series examining the journey from motherhood to infertility.

3. Dylan Segelbaum of The York Daily Record for “A deputy sheriff came to inventory their property — over a $160 Penn Waste trash bill

Bernie Harrison Memorial Award for Commentary
Rob Levinson of Bloomberg Government for “Please Don’t Put Guards at My Synagogue,” published in “War on the Rocks” 

Frank C. Porter Memorial Award for Labor Reporting
1. Fatima Hussein of Bloomberg Law for “United Pushes Back on Catering Workers’ Fight to Unionize”

2. Andrew Wallender of Bloomberg Law for “UPS Freight Strike Threat Looms as Workers Mull Revised Offer”

3. Michael Trimarchi and Christine Pulfrey of Bloomberg Tax for “Payroll Quietly Easing Into Trend of Quick-Pay Programs”

Honorable Mention: Laura Francis of Bloomberg Law for “Visa Applicants being asked if American can do their job”

Award for Business Reporting
Doug Donovan of The Baltimore Sun for “National Companies Moving to Take Over Maryland Marijuana Businesses despite State Law”

Pamela Wood of The Baltimore Sun for “Tradepoint Atlantic hits a turning point, seeks government financing”

Andrew Ramonas and Jennifer Bennet of Bloomberg Law for “SEC Wall Street Cops See Staff Drop Since Trump Election”

Honorable Mentions:
Yvonne Wenger of The Baltimore Sun for “Working at creating job opportunity: A North Baltimore cafe does its part to employ those with autism”

Rob Lever of  Agence France Presse for “Hackers Target Real Estate Deals”

National or International News
1. Michael Hirsh of Foreign Policy for “How Russian Money Helped to Save Trump’s Business.”

2. Teaganne Finn and Emily Wilkins of Bloomberg Government for “No Free Lunch? Schools Worry Kids Left Out by Meal Program Cuts.”

3. Colum Lynch of Foreign Policy for “Congolese Cover-Up”

Honorable Mentions:
Colum Lynch and Robbie Gramer of Foreign Policy for “Trump Appointee Compiles Loyalty List of U.S. Employees at U.N. and State Steps Down”

Greg Giroux of Bloomberg Government for “How to Elect a Speaker”

Emily Wilkins of Bloomberg Government for “Colleges’ Online Push Possible Boon to Private Firms”

Shaun Courtney of Bloomberg Government for “Gatwick-Style Drone Chaos Could Happen Here, Absent FAA Clarity.”

Local News
1. Yvonne Wenger of The Baltimore Sun for “‘Scary’ on both sides of the windshield: Squeegee kid debate divides Baltimore”

2. Dylan Segelbaum of The York Daily Record for “I didn’t win: Man Found Not Guilty in Fatal Overdose in York County Reflects on Prosecution”

3. Dylan Segelbaum of The York Daily Record for “Heroin addiction suspected of claiming West York man’s life”

Best Technical or Data Work
1. Rob Levinson of Bloomberg Government for “Air Force Struggles to Unclog Toilet Service Contract Blockages”

2. Cameron Leuthy of Bloomberg Government for “Innovation Hubs Study Could Change the Way the Pentagon Buys”

3. Jorge Uquillas of Bloomberg Government for “Who’s Leaving Congress with Million Dollar Reserves”

Honorable mentions:
Peter Brusoe of Bloomberg Government for “Facebook PAC Has Little Cash”

Chris Cornillie of Bloomberg Government for “Air Force to Issue $100M Cloud Computing and Storage Contract”

Paul Murphy of Bloomberg Government for “DHS Grounds EAGLE III, Adopts BIC Solution for Follow-On: Top 20”

Best Legislative Analysis
1. Sarah Babbage of Bloomberg Government for “Grated American Cheese Wouldn’t Be ‘Natural’ Under Senate Bill

2. Adam Taylor of Bloomberg Government for “BGOV Bill Summary: S. 3170, Online Child Exploitation Tipline

3. Naoreen Chowdhury of Bloomberg Government for “BGOV Bill Summary: House-Amended S. 2736, Indo-Pacific Plan

Best Blog
William Welkovitz of Bloomberg Law for “NLRB Joint Employer Rule”

Best Sports
1. Jeff Barker and Talia Richman of The Baltimore Sun for “Documents show University of Maryland’s big football gamble before Jordan McNair’s death”

2. Jeff Barker of The Baltimore Sun for “University of Maryland considered but did not implement plan to have medical school supervise athletic trainers”

Feature Photography
Kim Hairston of The Baltimore Sun for “Teacher Retires”

Amy Davis of The Baltimore Sun for “The Wait”

Ulysses Muñoz of The Baltimore Sun for “DJ Photo”

Local News Photography
Ulysses Muñoz of The Baltimore Sun for “Funeral at Synagogue”

Kim Hairston of The Baltimore Sun for “Ellicott City Cleanup”

National News Photography
Amy Davis of The Baltimore Sun for “Funeral for Capital Gazette Staffer”

Ulysses Muñoz of The Baltimore Sun for Annapolis Graduation

Sports Photography
Ulysses Muñoz of The Baltimore Sun for “Preakness”