Thursday, June 12, 2008

Anyone got a butter knife?

Right now, you could cut the tension in the newsroom with a hot butter knife.

Tomorrow, all eligible employees of Bay Area News Group-East Bay will vote on whether they would like the Writer's Guild to represent their interest and enter into collective bargaining over wage, hours and benefits.

To keep it short, I've never seen such outward expressions of bitterness, anger and fatigue within a newsroom. People are on edge, as it seems the future of the newsroom and its reporters will be decided by those who care to vote on it.

I'm the intern. So it's supposed to have little, if nothing to do with me.

But I can't help feeling that this is just another marker for how hard it is and will continue to be for new reporters to break into this market.

One thing I know: a writer's union never stopped anyone from being laid-off.

Side note: I'm neutral in my opinion about whether or not one is needed.

More developments are as they come. Stay tuned...

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Posted by Aaron Morrison at 6:59 PM | link

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So I'll preface my comments with the full disclosure that I'm from Michigan, the daughter of an autoworker (and UAW member) and a member of the Newspaper Guild.

Unions are not the devil. Yes, they don't always look out for individual interests for the sake of the better good. But in tough times like these, I'd much rather have the collective bargaining power of all of my collegues versus my paltry negotiating skills. Unions always face opposition when they try to enter the workplace. But I'll say this: just as no union ever stopped anyone from being laid off, if you're good, the union shouldn't be anythign to stop you from getting hired. I was hired at my newspaper solely because the union negotiated for all of the 2 year interns to become full time. Otherwise, i would have (like dozens before me) continued to be a Bic -- a disposable journalist in this newsroom. Iano. Just kinda babbling. Take my ramblings for what they are worth.

Posted by Blogger T Dot @ 10:47 AM, June 13, 2008 #
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