Journalists to strike June 5 at the largest US newspaper chain

Journalists at multiple publications are going on strike next week to protest against their working conditions.

Journalists to strike June 5 at the largest US newspaper chain

FILE – Sections of the USA Today newspaper in Norwood (Massachusetts) are displayed on Aug. 5, 2019. Next week, journalists in the U.S. who work for Gannett - the nation's largest newspaper chain - will be walking off the job. The mostly one-day walkout, which begins Monday, June 5, 20,23, is a protest against the company's leadership, and to protest cost-cutting initiatives imposed after its merger with GateHouse Media in 2019.

Steven Senne/AP

Journalists from across the U.S.

Walk off the job

The union announced Thursday that they will be working next week in about two dozen Gannett newsrooms, the U.S.'s largest newspaper chain.

The mainly one-day walkout, which begins on June 5, is intended to protest Gannett’s leadership and the cost-cutting initiatives imposed after its 2019 merger with GateHouse Media.

The NewsGuild union, which represents workers in more than 50 Gannett Newsrooms, says that these measures include job losses and the closing of dozens newsrooms. They also say that benefits and pay have been squeezed and there has been a lack of good faith when it comes to negotiating pay and conditions.

Lark-Marie Anton, Chief Communications Officer at Gannett, said in a statement that the company "strives" to offer competitive wages, benefits and meaningful opportunities to all of its valued employees. The expected work stoppage will not affect the company's ability to provide trusted news or its content, said Anton.

The walkout coincides with Gannett's annual shareholders meeting. Protesters will ask shareholders to refrain from voting for CEO Mike Reed in order to express their lack of confidence in his leadership. Reed has been in charge of the chain ever since the merger. Gannett's shares have fallen more than 60% in the time since that merger closed, amid a turbulent period for news.

According to the union, some newsrooms may go on strike for up to two days.