Thrown into a defensive position by aggressive monopolies, media workers unions seek new sources of strength.
Bay Area media unions, like those everywhere else in the country, live today in the shadow of Detroit. Newspaper workers at the Detroit News and Free Press have been on strike for three years, since walking out in 1995 over corporate demands for deep concessions. Although the National Labor Relations Board ruled this year that the newspapers’ management had engaged in illegal bad-faith bargaining, a decision that gave strikers the right to immediate reinstatement with back pay, the two newspapers continue to run with strike breakers. The sorry state of U.S. labor law allows employers to appeal NLRB decisions for years through the courts. In the meantime, only a handful of strikers have been rehired, and there is still no contract or union at the papers. Continue reading THE STATE OF OUR UNIONS, by David Bacon→
It’s a typical Wednesday evening in November and it’s raining again. I hear loud chants outside my office window, the same ones that pierce that air three times a week, every week: “Union–Yes! Marriott–No! Union bashing’s got to go! What do we want? Contract! When do we want it? Now! Hey there Marriott, you’re no good! Sign that contract like you should.” When I first heard the demonstrations, I searched the newspapers for an explanation. None was forthcoming, and by now I’ve nearly incorporated the chants into the usual street sounds wafting up from Fourth and Mission Streets. Still, I wonder: Why is a major, ongoing union demonstration not news? Continue reading FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS: why labor actions are not news, by Akilah Monifa→
Writers and photographers during the Vietnam war considered it their responsibility to expose the lies of the Pentagon’s propaganda machine, and they often did so brilliantly. But reporters during Desert Storm and in the war in Afghanistan have generally accepted a different role, willingly or unwillingly, and pictured those wars within the political limits dictated by Generals Schwartzkopf and Franks. Continue reading INTERVIEW: LINDA FOLEY, PRESIDENT NEWSPAPER GUILD. by David Bacon.→