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Indianapolis Newspaper Guild's "Declaration of Resistance"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Human_Paraquat, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. Human_Paraquat

    Human_Paraquat Active Member

    The Indianapolis Star union, currently in contract negotiations, posted a Declaration of Independence-style statement on its website:


    Instead of engaging in run-of-the-mill corporate bashing, I'm curious what others think on how useful such a move is during a negotiation.

    Does it help drum up community support? Does it further sour the relationship with management with no real upside? (Never been part of a union myself so I have no experience with these negotiations.)
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    "Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore."

    Nice words, but what the hell are you going to do about it?

    How about show some actual unified resistance? Slow down and blow deadline by hours. Refuse to put anything on the website or make videos. No tweeting. Just put out a paper. I don't know if they still do it, but if they do, have all reporters refuse to mainstream sources. Better yet, tell corporate as a group that you will no longer do their stupid mandates until they prove that they can be fair.

    Corporate will threaten cutbacks and firings. but they've been doing that for years anyway. Got nothing to lose at this point.
  3. If everyone on the editorial side quit, there would be a line of well-qualified people who would do the work for a lot less. The guild does not have much leverage.
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Nope, no one cares. Maybe, but they don't care if it gets to this point, and management didn't care to begin with.
  5. boundforboston

    boundforboston Well-Known Member

    And how quickly would it take for them to get there? Two weeks to interview for every position at the newspaper and find the right candidates (probably much longer), three weeks for them to get there, etc. I couldn't imagine a newspaper ever going five or six weeks without local content. (Of course, it's also difficult to see a situation where every single person there would quit.)
  6. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I don't think any newspaper union has much leverage these days.

    If you add in the fact that it's Gannett, and they're probably frothing at the bit to cut costs, my guess is this will not end well for the union members.

    Back in the 1990s I worked at a union paper and if you so much as casually mentioned, "going to the union" management would backtrack so fast it wasn't even funny. Those days are long dead.

    Nothing is worse than a group with minimal power desperately overplaying its hand.
  7. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Been many a moon since your humble correspondent cashed a newspaper paycheck, but I wonder just how long it would really take to assemble a makeshift staff. Given how much more readily stuff is done over the internet, I bet it's a matter of days if not hours.
  8. boundforboston

    boundforboston Well-Known Member

    Really, people can fill about a dozen sports reporting positions, much less an entire newspaper, in a matter of hours? That doesn't seem doable.
  9. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Before we get too deep in the hyperbole, could they find cheaper replacements quickly and easily? Yes... Would they? The only thing Gannett does quickly is get rid of people.

    I could see them getting rid of a lot (not everybody) of people and making the surviving people put out the paper while they find replacements. More than likely they won't have to do that. They'll just threated to let everyone go and people will start falling into line. That's what Gannett does.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Who said anything about quitting? I'm talking about a slowdown, with a few minor shots at their silly initiatives that have nothing to do with actually putting out the paper.
  11. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Halifax tried to do that when they tried to make everyone sign a non-compete at their Florida papers upon threats of firing. The workers got so pissed off they refused en masse to sign it and Halifax backed down.
  12. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    And that'll get people fired, too.
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