The world's largest news agency, the Associated Press, threatened to layoff workers if they didn't agree to deep salary cuts. There were months of downright hostile negotiations, despite journalists agreeing to cuts in benefits and no increase in wages.
But after the journalists' union organized for months and successfully recruited more than 9,000 supporters in all 50 states, they won a much more acceptable agreement.
Since October, journalists and other news workers at Associated Press have been bargaining for a new contract with the world's largest news agency. Although AP had four years of strong growth before the recession, and says it is headed to renewed growth this year, it wants deep cuts we believe are unjustified.
AP workers, represented by the News Media Guild, have already made sacrifices to keep the not-for-profit healthy, accepting cuts in benefits in previous bargaining. And they haven't had a wage increase in two years. In this bargaining, workers proposed an innovative revision to our pension plan that would save AP up to $5 million, with risk safeguards the company sought. But AP won't budge, and instead is proposing sharp increases in employee medical costs.
AP is also refusing to budge on improving its diversity in hiring, after it unilaterally decided to put its minority journalist program -- a program that helped bring diversity to the journalism workforce of tomorrow -- on hiatus for a year with no promise that it will return.
As journalists who cover America and the world, we're proud to be part of AP's 150+ year tradition of fact-based, fast and accurate reporting -- proved once again during the Tucson tragedy, where we maintained our verification standards and did not incorrectly report that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had died in the attack.
If you support the men and women of AP, and their quality reporting that you can trust, then please sign our petition asking management to accept sensible proposals to protect the business AND the workers.