Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild launches new website, new mobilization campaign

4.29.2021 — In this week’s round of bargaining, The Buffalo News/Lee Enterprises rejected the Guild’s digital jurisdiction proposal and reproposed language to dismantle our job security protections and outsource Guild work out of state and out of country.

As a result, the Guild is moving forward with a campaign to raise community awareness. The campaign includes active social media messaging and a new website, www.ProtectLocalJournalism.com

The Guild offered a package proposal Monday to outsource call center work for Inside Circulation to a U.S-based Lee call center in exchange for buyouts equivalent to a year’s pay and health care coverage. As part of the package proposal, the Guild required the company to withdraw its proposal to outsource Accounting, and the Guild put forth a proposal to insource page design work to our world-class, award-winning design team.

These terms were rejected.

The News/Lee also rejected every newsroom-based proposal designed to safeguard the integrity of local journalism. These include the digital jurisdiction proposal to ensure staff reporters and photographers can’t be replaced by freelancers on our own website. These also include proposals to label sponsored content and clearly distinguish locally produced journalism.

SO WE ARE TAKING ACTION

We now ask for every Guild member’s participation in upcoming, daily mobilization actions to inform the company and the public that the people who contribute to The Buffalo News matter.

If you have a social media account, please share and retweet messages that will be appearing on the Guild’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts over the next two weeks.

These messages all direct the public to the Guild’s new campaign website: www.ProtectLocalJournalism.com This site, which will be regularly updated, informs the public of our campaign and lets them know what’s at stake for them.

Many other mobilization actions are also in the works. We have ordered more yard signs, which we are making available to the public. If you can help briefly staff a distribution site, please let us know by emailing buffaloguildmobilization@gmail.com.

If you have face-to-face or video conference/Zoom meetings with managers, please wear your Guild button that reads “Protect Local Journalism.” If you have a “Protect Local Journalism” sign that the Guild has distributed to its members, please put this somewhere in the background of your video frame, where it is visible to others on the video conference.

The Editorial department has a meeting scheduled at 11 a.m. May 4 on the Microsoft Teams video platform. We ask all Editorial members to turn your camera on and make sure your button and/or sign are visible in the video frame. If you are on assignment and dialing into the call, turn on your camera and wear your Guild mask.

If you work in the building, please wear your magnetic Protect Local Journalism button.

If you are out on assignment with a fellow Guild member, please take candid photos of each other and email them to us for use in future social media posts.

Only by mobilizing can we expect to make progress at the bargaining table.

If you need a sign, please contact VP/Mobilization Rachel Lenzi at buffaloguildmobilization@gmail.com, and the Guild will arrange to deliver a sign to you. We also have our first yard sign distribution planned for 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. Saturday (May 1) at Thomas F. Higgins Riverfront Park at 152 Bailey Ave. in Buffalo.