Top executives at the hedge fund that owns Digital First Media must have felt terrible that employees at the newspaper company weren’t getting any raises in 2017. So they did something about it. They gave themselves a raise.
DFM management came to a bargaining session empty-handed, telling a national coalition of NewsGuild representatives that the company’s hedge fund ownership intends to keep employee pay frozen companywide to help maintain its profits. Alden Global Capital, principal owner of Digital First Media, has earned worldwide notoriety for its ruthless staff cuts and double-digit profit margins. The ongoing damage to newsrooms across the country has triggered protests from New York to Denver to the Bay Area.
Members of the Bay Area News Group newsroom staff, winners of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the deadly Ghost Ship Fire, publicly denounced their corporate owner’s business practices Thursday.
Negotiations for a 2018 wage re-opener covering 13 bargaining units will open soon as Digital First Media ordered a new wave of staff cuts throughout California and in suburban Philadelphia in January. In response, DFM workers are escalating their contract campaign against Alden Global Capital, the New York hedge fund that owns DFM and that has been systematically stripping newspaper assets since 2012.
San Francisco Chronicle journalists held down the early shift Wednesday at the San Francisco Chronicle in solidarity with Guild workers everywhere and especially at the Digital First and Gatehouse organizations. About 800 members at the DFM chain, which includes the Bay Area News Group (East Bay Times and The Mercury News) and Monterey Herald, are seeking a pay increase in nationwide joint bargaining. The Guild is also contending with a recent consolidation announcement at the 2017 Pulitzer-winning East Bay Times that will cost 20 jobs.
Leaders of 12 Guild bargaining units reached an unprecedented tentative agreement with Digital First Media today, including the first across-the-board pay increase many DFM workers have seen in years.
Representatives of the 12 Digital First Media Guild bargaining units met jointly with DFM management in Denver this week in an effort to reach agreement on all DFM contracts.
June 17, 2016 East Bay Guild Bargaining Bulletin PLEASANTON — In the first significant conversations since the consolidation of the Bay Area dailies, East Bay Guild representatives met Friday with Digital First Media management to renew contract talks. The discussion focused on key open issues including pay, expenses and scheduling …
Nearly 1,000 employees at a dozen DFM papers have gone years without raises — in some cases, a decade — while many have had to live with actual cuts in earnings and benefits.
Today is the launch of a national, coordinated campaign to win fair contracts with wage increases for the nearly 1,000 Guild-represented employees of Digital First Media.