Staffers at the Villi age Voice could be going on strike in a matter of days.
The three-year contract expires at midnight on June 30, and the union unanimously passed a strike authorization vote. They’ve seen annual salaries drop and staff cut by 60% in the past three years.
If they do go on strike, ” writers, bloggers, photographers, editors, designers, and sales staff—as well as former Voice staff members and other supporters—will be publishing an alternate website, TheRealVoice.org, where readers will find the same high-quality writing there that they currently enjoy in the paper and on Voice blogs.”
They are also hosting a strike benefit Wednesday night in Williamsburg.
Here’s the release:
The current three-year contract between Village Voice Media and UAW Local 2110, representing the workers of The Village Voice, expires midnight June 30. The membership has unanimously passed a strike authorization vote.
Over the past three years, the Voice staff has been cut by an estimated 60%, and average annual salaries have markedly diminished. Management has so far played hardball with the union, refusing to make an offer, while demanding extensive concessions from the newspaper’s staff, including a substantial, ever-increasing contribution to an inferior health plan, as well as the elimination of management’s own contribution to employees’ retirement accounts. The union membership sees the quality of their medical coverage as the critical issue. “That’s why I came to work here,” said one staff writer. “The health insurance is the one thing that made low wages bearable.”
In the event of a work stoppage, writers, bloggers, photographers, editors, designers, and sales staff—as well as former Voice staff members and other supporters—will be publishing an alternate website, TheRealVoice.org, where readers will find the same high-quality writing there that they currently enjoy in the paper and on Voice blogs.
A strike benefit will be held on Wednesday, June 29, at Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-384-4586), featuring the bands Fort Lean, K-Holes, and Alan Watts. The suggested $10 donation will go to the Village Voice Strike Fund. Voice alumni, including many distinguished writers and editors, are expected to attend.
The Village Voice is the nation’s oldest and largest alternative newsweekly and the recipient of numerous journalism awards, including three Pulitzers. It was founded in 1955 by Ed Fancher, Dan Wolf, and Norman Mailer. The Voice, along with the rest of its six-newspaper chain, was acquired in 2006 by Phoenix-based New Times Media, since renamed Village Voice Media. The Village Voice is the only unionized newspaper in the now 13-weekly VVM chain. The shop includes workers from all parts of the paper, including Production, Editorial, and Sales.
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