Local Gannett and Gatehouse Media journalists announce union formation

Published: February 24, 2020 12:23 PM EST
Updated: February 26, 2020 2:44 PM EST
FILE: Former The News-Press bulding (WINK News/FILE)

The journalists of The Naples Daily News, The News-Press, The Banner and the Marco Eagle announced they are forming a union Monday and asked management to voluntarily recognize the Southwest Florida News Guild, part of the NewsGuild-CWA.

A delegation of the union’s organizing committee presented local management with a letter requesting voluntary recognition from the newspapers’ parent company, Gannett, which would pave the way for contract negotiations, according to a press release.

More than 75% of non-management employees have inked union authorization cards, the release states. The group will file signed authorization cards with the National Labor Relations Board requesting an election within a 30-day time period.

The mission statement, written by the guild’s Organizing Committee, details financial woes and impacts on working conditions as a direct result from a corporate merger between Gannett and Gatehouse Media, per the release.

“This has taken a toll on our working conditions,” they wrote. “We have lost skilled journalists, and in many cases their positions have not been filled. That makes it difficult for us to maintain the level and quality of coverage our communities deserve.”