Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild members support organizing drive at Lakeland Ledger

For decades, the state of Florida has been entirely free of union newspapers.

That changed in August, when the staff of the Lakeland Ledger voted overwhelmingly to join The Newspaper Guild-CWA after the paper was acquired by GateHouse Media last year.

As part of the organizing drive at the Ledger, Guild locals from across the country sent messages of support to the staff of the Ledger. That included the Buffalo Newspaper Guild, whose members gathered under The News’ sign on Washington Street in early August.

“We recognize that in a state with few Guild-represented newspapers, the fight must feel somewhat lonely,” the Buffalo Guild wrote in a message of support for Lakeland Ledger staffers. “But take it from us – you’re joining a strong, supportive group of professionals from across the media industry who have contributed to better working lives for the people we represent.”

Shortly after the Lakeland Ledger staff joined the Guild, another GateHouse paper, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, took steps to unionize. A vote there is expected sometime in the next month.

Members of the Buffalo Newspaper Guild sent our Florida colleagues this expression of support:

Dear Lakeland Ledger Staff:

As you continue your efforts to organize, we want you all to know that you have the full support of The Buffalo Newspaper Guild.

We recognize that in a state with few Guild-represented newspapers, the fight must feel somewhat lonely. But take it from us – you’re joining a strong, supportive group of professionals from across the media industry who have both benefited and contributed to better working lives for the people we represent.

At The Buffalo News, it’s difficult to imagine life without the Guild. It has been a constant source of support and has shepherded us through some very difficult negotiations. During an extremely challenging time in the industry, the support of the Guild is more important than ever.

If you need anything – information, advice, a sounding board for ideas – please don’t hesitate to contact us. We wish you the best of luck with your organizing drive and the important work you are doing in Florida.

Sincerely,

The members of the Buffalo Newspaper Guild