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In June 2020, the Southwest Florida News Guild voted to unionize by overwhelming margins in favor of forming a union, ushering in a new chapter in our efforts to protect local journalism and the people who produce it.
The National Labor Relations Board counted the votes for our unit, revealing that 38 of 44 Southwest Florida News Guild staffers voted supported unionizing.
“Today’s win has been a long time coming,” the Southwest Florida News Guild’s organizing committee said. “After many months of organizing and delays, we’re looking forward to meeting Gannett at the bargaining table where we will continue to fight for better working conditions for our colleagues and for the future of local journalism in Southwest Florida.”
The reporters, photographers, copy editors, digital specialists, news assistants and columnists that comprise our union will have stronger collective voices in our newsrooms. Through our union, we will have the opportunity to bargain over working conditions, negotiate better benefits, seek equitable pay, hire diverse staff that better reflect our communities and have a say in editorial and newsroom decisions.
Our guild formally announced our intent to unionize in February 2020 and planned to vote the following month, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed those elections. Meanwhile, Gannett refused to voluntarily recognize us, requiring us to wait three additional months until the NLRB set new mail-in elections.
We are proud to join a strong coalition of Florida newsrooms that are represented by The NewGuild-CWA: The Lakeland Ledger; The Sarasota Herald-Tribune; The Florida Times-Union; The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald; The Orlando Sentinel; and The Bradenton Herald.
Southwest Florida News Guild is made up of staffers from Naples Daily News, The News-Press, The Banner and the Marco Eagle, covering Fort Myers to Marco Island.