Unionized Employees at Miami Herald and sister companies staged a walk-out on Friday after their demands were not met
Unionized workers at the Miami Herald and their sister newspapers, El Nuevo Herald and the Bradenton Herald, decided to walk out of work for one day due to mounting tensions between them and the companies’ new owners, McLatchy.
These negotiations have been in process for two years, as the staff and management are embroiled in tough combat for equity and fairer policies across all three publications.
The staff at the company’s publications has been pushing for paid parental leave while also demanding that there be equality in pay for journalists at both publications. It was revealed by the union co-chair that the difference is so stark that a 15-year seasoned journalist at El Nuevo makes an average of $49,000 per annum, while a 10-year long employee of the Miami Herald makes $80,000. There’s a glaringly obvious, discriminatory reason behind it: language.
This comes as a slap in the face when Miami’s Hispanic population is a majority in the city, and the work is essentially the same. Additionally, they’re also demanding protection against outsourcing, experienced-based pay, and a higher gas mileage reimbursement, which is a meager 33 cents per mile, in contrast to the IRS’s standard of 58.5 cents.
While Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald’s employees have been jointly unionized since 2019, Bradenton Herald’s employees have a separate union where they are making their own demands.
McLatchy, the company that owns all three publications, has met the union halfway with their demands but failed to put its policies into practice. The company also gave up its physical space when COVID-19 hit and filed for bankruptcy in February 2020. The lack of an office space led to a virtual walkout with employees gathering in a hotel conference room to meet.
The irony in the timing of these criticisms and protests is not lost on anyone, seeing as how just earlier this week, on April 4th, 2022, the National Hug a Newsperson Day was observed in an effort to boost the morale of journalists, newscasters, reporters and other personnel working in this field.
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