Tuesday, March 22, 2011

AP reporters protest cuts in retirement benefits, increase in health insurance premiums

"More than two dozen Associated Press journalists held a rally outside AP’s Los Angeles bureau Tuesday afternoon to stand up for quality journalism at the world’s largest news agency. Hoisting picket signs (photos attached), they handed out leaflets to pedestrians and drew honks of support from passing motorists.

Staffers at more than 25 other AP bureaus across the nation held protests against AP’s onerous contract proposals last Wednesday, including in New York. There, about 100 staff members with picket signs and a large banner protested in front of the company’s world headquarters in Manhattan,

  • wearing red Guild shirts, buttons and lanyards.

In Washington, D.C., staff and their family members held a rally on March 12 outside the Newseum that drew about 120 people and two dogs wearing Guild red.

The number of protests by AP’s journalists, technicians and other union-covered staff is unprecedented and has been escalating, with contract bargaining dragging on for nearly five months.

Last week, virtually all AP journalists withheld their names from their stories and photos, a big sacrifice for many reporting on major news, to send AP managers a message that they are united in opposing the company’s contract proposals

  • and supporting their union, the News Media Guild.

The staff is protesting AP’s demands to hike health insurance premiums 50 percent or more and slash retirement benefits about 50 percent, while giving only a tiny raise."...

  • via Poynter.org/Romenesko
3/18/11, "AP Staff Protests Proposal to Increase Health Insurance Premiums and Slash Retirement Benefits," press release via Editor & Publisher

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