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Boston Newspaper Guild members protests unfair contract conditions outside WBUR

Boston Newspaper Guild protesters outside WBUR CitySpace
Boston Newspaper Guild members protesting outside WBUR CitySpace Monday night for the preservation of job security protections. The Guild represents more than 300 Boston Globe employees in all areas of Globe production and have laid the groundwork for a strike vote, they wrote in a press release. ISABELLA ABRAHAM/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston Newspaper Guild — The Boston Globe employee union — held a protest Sept. 20 outside the WBUR CitySpace against the treatment of staff at the paper. 

Inside the WBUR studio, Boston Globe Media Partners CEO Linda Pizzuti Henry was speaking at the “Trailblazers: Women News Leaders From Katharine Graham to Today” event about the progress of women in news media. Boston Globe Media Partners is the parent company to The Globe, STAT News and

In an open letter addressed to Gloria Steinem — who made opening remarks virtually at Monday’s event — BNG wrote they are fighting for job protections such as limited outsourcing, seniority rights and fair discipline from employers. BNG members carried the letter at the protest.

“Linda Pizzuti Henry is a powerful woman, with an urgent opportunity before her — to step up and become a real trailblazer by fighting for, not against, the lives and rights of Globe employees,” the letter states. “We ask you to play a part in bringing about that resolution, by telling ownership to do the right thing for workers at the Boston Globe,, and STAT.” 

The BNG represents more than 300 Globe employees in all areas of Globe production, including reporters, photographers, editors, circulation managers, marketers and more. The BNG is approaching 1,000 days of negotiations with management of The Globe for a contract that meets their demands. 

“Despite witnessing our dedication and professionalism daily throughout this pandemic, likely to be the biggest crisis of our lives, our owners continue to fight us on basic workplace rights,” the letter states. 

Boston Globe Media Partners could not be reached by phone for comment by the time of publication. 

“We’re here because we’ve had enough,” Michael Vega, a multiplatform editor for the sports section of The Globe, said in an interview. “We want her to know that it’s not going to fly, not anymore, and we need a fair contract now.”

Abbi Matheson, a senior digital producer for the opinion and ideas sections of The Globe, said the previous contract for Globe writers expired about two and a half years ago. 

“We’ve all worked from home, managed child care and family things while working from home and doing all of that without a fair contract,” Matheson said. “So it’s been wearing on us for all this time.” 

Vega said the treatment of mothers at The Globe is contradictory to sentiments from Henry.

“A lot of women on our staff who are working mothers are having to raise their kids from home while doing their jobs,” Vega said. “It just flies in the face of what [Pizutti Henry] purports to be about.”

Janelle Nanos, a business reporter for The Globe, highlighted the importance of the union in maintaining worker safety, especially during the pandemic. 

“The union was there to support us,” Nanos said, “and this contract that’s being proposed would essentially take away so many protections that it would make the union just a shell of itself.”

In terms of outsourcing, Matheson said management wants language in the contract to allow them to outsource jobs later on. 

“Their argument is that they want to be able to call in tech folks to help with projects and stuff,” Matheson said, “but once you open that door, it could lead to them giving our jobs to outsourced places.” staff writer and governing board member of the the Guild Arianna MacNeill said the prospect of outsourcing “makes people nervous.”

“It’s kind of scary,” MacNeill said. “There’s this uncertainty that kind of hangs over.”

Nanos said people can learn more about the Guild’s movement to negotiate a contract at She added that it is important for people to subscribe to the paper.

“You look around the country, and newsrooms without strong contracts are being decimated right now,” Nanos said.  “And we can’t let that happen.”

Isabella Abraham contributed to the reporting of this article. 

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