NEW YORK--()--News Media Guild - Communications Workers of America:
WHAT: Associated Press news workers will hold protest rallies early next week at about three dozen U.S. bureaus to stand up for quality journalism at the world’s largest news agency. Journalists, technicians and support staff will protest over AP’s proposed 50 percent cut in retirement benefits, below-inflation wage offer and other issues. Meanwhile, AP reporters and photographers will be withholding use of their personal cars and cell phones for covering assignments, not tweeting about their stories and participating in other protests Monday and Tuesday.
WHERE: List of rallies is at bottom.
WHEN: Most are Tuesday, April 12, at lunchtime. There is one rally each Monday and Wednesday.
LINK TO VIDEOS OF PROTESTS IN MARCH AND EARLIER:
WHY: AP’s 1,250 news workers have been trying to negotiate a new contract since October, but the company continues to insist on deep cuts.†AP workers have already made many concessions to reduce costs, and haven’t had a wage increase in two years. Some 10 percent of the staff were laid off in 2009, after years of attrition had already reduced staff to the bone in most bureaus and departments.
AP enjoyed several years of strong growth before the recession and its CEO, former USA Today executive Tom Curley, says AP’s finances are improving again. Unlike newspapers and TV stations hurt by loss of advertisers to the Internet, AP has a wide range of income sources, including Internet customers such as Google and Yahoo, corporations, government agencies, specialty publications and foreign news outlets. Income from many of those sources is growing steadily. Yet AP insists on a tiny raise that won’t keep pace with inflation and a freeze of our pensions that would erase retirement security. Given the deep staff cuts at many other media outlets, AP’s reliable, unbiased journalism is needed more than ever.
Staff have been protesting these proposals since October, signing petitions, withholding their names from their work, and sending direct appeals to Curley. Nearly 9,000 members of the news-consuming public have signed our quality journalism petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/support-quality-journalism-and-ap-workers.
The company did agree to freeze health care premiums, after insisting it would raise them 50 percent or more, following nearly 30 rallies and other protests last month. But AP hasn’t budged on other economic issues and wants to continue giving staff compensation far below what its primary competitors provide.
Staffers will hold protests in the 39 cities below, all on Tuesday, April 12, except for the Salt Lake City and St. Louis protests, which will be on Wednesday. Los Angeles is protesting on both Monday and Tuesday.
|Washington, DC||12:30-1:30||1100 13th St. NW|
|New York||1-2 PM||450 West 33rd St|
|Atlanta||noon||101 Marietta St.|
|Boston||1 p.m.||184 High St.|
|Trenton, NJ||1:30 p.m.||50 W. State St.|
|Baltimore, MD||noon||218 N. Charles St.|
|Kansas City, Mo.||noon||215 W Pershing Rd|
|Phoenix||11:30 a.m.||1850 N. Central Ave. (just north of McDowell Ave.)|
|Philadelphia||11:30 a.m.||1835 Market St.,|
|Louisville, KY||noon||525 W. Broadway (Courier-Journal bldg.)|
|Denver||1:30 p.m.||1444 Wazee St.|
|Chicago||12:30 p.m.||10 S. Wacker @ Madison|
|Nashville, TN||noon||215 Centerview Drive, BRENTWOOD TN|
|Honolulu||11:30 a.m.||Hawaii Capitol, 415 S Beretania St.|
|Hartford, CT||8:30 a.m.||Southern Connecticut Univ.|
|Los Angeles||noon 4/11&12||211 S. Figeroa St.|
|New Orleans||noon||1515 Poydras St.|
|Salt Lake City||noon 4/13||300 E. 100 South|
|Portland, Ore.||1:30 p.m.||121 SW Salmon St.|
|Montpelier, VT||noon||535 Stone Cutters Way|
|Columbia, MO||noon-1 p.m.||9th & Elm (next to U. Missouri Journalism School|
|Dallas||1 p.m.||4851 LBJ Freeway|
|Omaha, NE||noon||6711 S 110 St.|
|Indianapolis, IN||noon||251 N. Illinois St.,|
|Cheyenne, WY||noon||320 W. 25th St.|
|Seattle, WA||12:30 p.m.||3131 Elliott Ave.|
|Tallahassee||noon||336 E. College Ave.|
|Detroit||1:30 p.m.||300 Joseph Campau @Atwater St.|
|Miami||12:30 p.m.||9100 NW 36th St.|
|San Francisco||noon||303 2nd St.|
|Albany, N.Y.||1 p.m.||645 Albany-Shaker Rd. (Times Union Bldg)|
|Anchorage, AK||noon||750 W. 2nd Ave.|
|Boise, ID||12:30 p.m.||101 S. Capitol Blvd.|
|Columbia, SC||noon||1311 Marion St,|
|Sacramento, CA||noon||Cesar Chavez Park, 10th & J Sts.|
|St. Louis, Mo.||1 PM-4/13||900 N, Tucker Blvd (Post-Dispatch bldg.)|
|Minneapolis||noon||511 11th Ave. South|
|Charleston, WVa.||11 a.m.||500 Va. St. E.|
|Raleigh, NC||11:30 a.m.||4800 Six Forks Road|
VISUALS: Workers will be protesting in Guild red and distributing flyers asking the public to support us by signing our online petition (link is above). At most sites, protestors will have picket signs, and the NYC and Washington rallies will feature large banners.
The News Media Guild (formerly the Wire Service Guild) represents news workers at The Associated Press, United Press International, and the Spanish-language EFE News Service. It is local 31222 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America.