AP News Workers Rally Again For Quality Journalism In Labor Talks

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.

CONTACT:News Media Guild Mobilizer Linda Johnson, 215-584-6720 (cell), 215-547-3337 (home), ljohnson@newsmediaguild.org or sciwri@verizon.net OR TONY WINTON, NMG President, 212-869-9290

LINK TO VIDEOS OF PROTESTS IN MARCH AND EARLIER:

http://www.youtube.com/user/NMGvideo

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.

City  

Time

  Address
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.

Contacts

News Media Guild Mobilizer
Linda Johnson
215-584-6720 (cell)
215-547-3337 (home)
ljohnson@newsmediaguild.org
sciwri@verizon.net
or
Tony Winton, 212-869-9290
NMG President

Sharing

Contacts

News Media Guild Mobilizer
Linda Johnson
215-584-6720 (cell)
215-547-3337 (home)
ljohnson@newsmediaguild.org
sciwri@verizon.net
or
Tony Winton, 212-869-9290
NMG President