Journalists across the U.S. will walk off their jobs next week at roughly two dozen newsrooms run by Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S., their union said Thursday.
The mostly one-day strike, which will start June 5, aims to protest Gannett’s leadership and cost-cutting measures imposed since its 2019 merger with GateHouse Media.
According to the NewsGuild, the union representing workers at more than 50 Gannett newsrooms, those measures include job cuts and the shuttering of dozens of newsrooms; squeezed pay and benefits; and a failure to negotiate pay and working conditions in good faith.
In a statement, Gannett Chief Communications Officer Lark-Marie Anton said the company “strives to provide competitive wages, benefits, and meaningful opportunities for all our valued employees.” She added that “there will be no disruption to our content or ability to deliver trusted news” as a result of the expected work stoppage.
The walkout will coincide with Gannett’s annual shareholder meeting. Protesters will urge shareholders to withhold their votes for CEO Mike Reed as an expression of no confidence in his leadership. Reed has overseen the chain since the 2019 merger. Gannett shares have dropped more than 60 percent since that deal closed amid a tumultuous period for the news business.
Some newsrooms will strike for two days or more, according to the union.