December 04, 2018

Senator Warren Offers Support for Employee Organizing Efforts at Two Western Massachusetts News Outlets

A Large Majority of Employees at Newspapers Reportedly Support Forming a Union

Text of the Letter (PDF)

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the Daily Hampshire Gazette and The Valley Advocate in support of their employees' request in joining together to form a union, the Pioneer Valley News Guild. Senator Warren is urging the two newspapers to carefully follow all applicable laws and respect their employees' rights to join together and decide without interference whether to form a union. Well over half of the 72 eligible employees at these two newspapers have reportedly signed a petition requesting voluntary recognition of their union and submitted it to the newspapers' publisher on November 12th.

"These two newspapers, and the local, high-quality journalism that they produce, play a crucial role in the Western Massachusetts communities that they serve," Senator Warren wrote. "Your employees at these newspapers - including reporters, advertising sales agents, production staff, paginators, press operators, distribution staff, customer service representatives, and custodial staff - all contribute toward producing high-quality, local journalism that is crucial to a vibrant democracy and strong communities in Western Massachusetts. These employees deserve a chance to have a voice in their workplace, and, if they choose, join a union."

The National Labor Relations Act grants all workers the right to organize and prohibits employers from interfering with this right. These rights are essential to ensuring that all workers, including those at the Daily Hampshire Gazette and The Valley Advocate, have a place at the negotiating table and a meaningful opportunity to improve their wages, benefits, and working conditions.