Finance, Law and Politics, National, Transportation

Arizona Republic Staff Joins NewsGuild; Management Hostile

September 5, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Newsroom staff at the Arizona Republic handed in cards on Sept. 4 stating that they want to be represented by The NewsGuild-CWA. The Republic‘s management has been hostile to the organizing drive, with multiple captive-audience meetings and the paper’s editor sending staff an email Sept. 1 comparing union supporters to “crackpots and criminals.” On Sept. 3, a Gannett human-resources representative confiscated reporter Rebekah Sanders’ work phone, after “interrogating” her about her participation in the union. “I asked how I would conduct interviews the rest of the day,” Sanders wrote on Facebook. “She said, ‘You won’t.’” Gannett has reduced the paper’s editorial staff by 70% since 2007, according to the Arizona Republic Guild, including Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Steve Benson. The company’s pending merger with GateHouse Media “likely means deeper cuts,” it said. “We can’t be sure that whatever company owns us will care about journalism. But we can work to make sure they provide some basics for journalists,” veteran reporter Richard Ruelas said in a statement released by the union. “It took me a while to stop thinking about what was in this for me, and start thinking about what was in this for all of us.”

September 5, 2019

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