We are the Utica News Guild
Representing reporters, photographers and other staff at the Utica Observer-Dispatch and Herkimer Times Telegram, the Newspaper Guild of Utica is a longstanding union in the Mohawk Valley.
Utica News Guild walks out in one-day strike
Who: Utica News Guild members, made up of reporters, photographers and other staff at the Utica Observer-Dispatch and Herkimer Times Telegram
What: A rally to announce the Guild’s decision to walk out on the Observer-Dispatch Friday
When: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4
Where: Outside the Observer-Dispatch, 70 Genesee Street, Utica
Why: Members are saying enough is enough to Gannett’s cost-cutting measures and stalled bargaining
How you can help: As we fight to save our local news, we’re looking for the support of our community. Donate to our walkout fund or sign our petition.
Staff at the Utica Observer-Dispatch and Herkimer Times Telegram will rally outside the Observer-Dispatch building on Genesee Street 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4, in protest of the papers’ parent company Gannett and its latest draconian, cost-cutting measures.
The members of the Utica News Guild, a union representing journalists, photographers and other staff at both papers, joined over half a dozen other shops at Gannett-owned papers Friday to walk out of work for the day.
“Our members are walking out today because Gannett has left us with no choice,” unit chair Rose Schneider said in a statement. “From layoffs this summer to positions ranging from sports reporter to editor left vacant, the company has shown apathy if not downright callousness toward its employees and the communities it is meant to serve.”
The Utica News Guild, a unit under the NewsGuild of New York local, has been bargaining for a new contract with the Observer-Dispatch and Gannett since the start of 2022, with hopes for higher wages, better benefits and layoff protections, and improvements to newsroom diversity. This is the second action the unit has taken, after previously joining other shops in a one-hour “lunchout” to protest layoffs that led to the closure of the Gannett-owned Mid-York Weekly and the layoff of its sole employee. Most recently, the company announced it would impose furloughs on non-union staff as well as freeze hiring. A recent study also revealed that, despite the company’s supposed commitment to diversity, racial and gender pay gaps still abound at its Atlantic region papers.
Other units at Gannett-owned papers participating in the walkout Friday include the Guild’s sibling shops at the Gannett Regional Union, a collective of six Atlantic region shops under the NewsGuild of New York that include the Hudson Valley News Guild, the Newspaper Guild of Rochester, APP-MCJ Guild, the Atlantic DOT Guild and The Record Guild; as well as shops in the Media Guild of the West including the Desert Sun News Guild and Arizona Republic Guild).
Instead of publishing sports and breaking news on the Observer-Dispatch’s website, members will launch a strike paper site Friday morning at gannettunions.org/utica, where readers can also find more information on why members have walked out for the day.