WMALF Solidarity Statement in support of Pioneer Valley NewsGuild

The cuts to Daily Hampshire Gazette’s in-house printing Department is an example of classic union-busting

The decision by the Daily Hampshire Gazette to cut its in-house printing department and outsource to a commercial printer in Auburn should be understood for what it is – a classic example of union busting. These cuts will mean 29 employees and nearly half of the Daily Hampshire Gazette staff will be laid off right as federal unemployment benefits are set to expire and in the midst of unprecedented crisis precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. These cuts will be devastating and it’s no coincidence that they come as staff, which unionized in 2018 to form the Pioneer Valley News Guild, are in the midst of negotiating their first contract. The Daily Hampshire Gazette management has also hired the notorious and expensive union busting law firm Seyfarth and Shaw, that has a long track record of busting union and contract drives.

We stood in solidarity with the Pioneer Valley News Guild during their inspiring organizing drive in 2018 and we will stand with them now as they fight these latest attacks on their workplace rights. As we navigate our precarious times it is more important than ever that we uphold workers legal rights to organize. Workers need job security and fair wages, a voice in the workplace, health & safety on the job and unions are how they get the goods. If the Daily Hampshire Gazette is serious about their commitment to serving the community and producing quality content, they should bargain in good faith with their staff, retain their in-house printing department and fire Seyfarth and Shaw. We are living through a “Which side are you on moment?”, and the management of the Daily Hampshire Gazette is clearly on the wrong side.

Jeff Jones, President, Western Mass Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

Patrick Burke, President, Hampshire-Franklin Labor Assembly