YOUR BUSINESS AUTHORITY

Springfield, MO

Log in Subscribe
Nathan Papes, far right, front row, is one of two News-Leader workers whose employment was reinstated after Gannett Co. enacted layoffs.
SBJ file photo
Nathan Papes, far right, front row, is one of two News-Leader workers whose employment was reinstated after Gannett Co. enacted layoffs.

News-Leader union reverses layoffs by parent company

Posted online

Last edited 12:54 p.m., April 27, 2020

Two layoffs at the Springfield News-Leader were averted last week after the newsroom’s employee union got involved.

Katie Kull, a News-Leader reporter and spokeswoman for the Springfield News Guild representing 13 staff members, said the union acted Friday after parent company Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) announced the layoffs of full-time photographer Nathan Papes, a more than 10-year employee, and part-time news clerk Judson Green.

"We then contacted our union representative, who contacted Gannett's attorney that deals with unions," Kull said via email this morning. "Our News Guild representative planned to file a complaint in with the National Labor Relations Board, but it turns out that wasn't necessary. We found out minutes later the two employees would be reinstated."

A statement issued Friday by the Springfield News Guild alleged illegal layoffs over violations of "status quo protections under federal law." Kull said the Springfield News Guild hasn't yet bargained a contract since the union was formed, meaning the "status quo that is being preserved is our current contracts and the working conditions that go along with them, which includes staffing levels." The National Labor Relations Act provides such status quo protections.

“We expect Gannett to act in good faith and within the bounds of the law moving forward, especially as a company that employs journalists who work every day to hold those in power accountable," the statement reads.

The News-Leader's newsroom voted in late January to establish the union. Newsroom executives are not included among its ranks.

Gannett last month announced newsroom employees who make at least $38,000 annually are required to take one week of unpaid furlough in April, May and June because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Gannett also directed the closure of the newspaper's Springfield printing press and moved operations to Columbia.

Comments

No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick
$45M project joins vacation home scene

Over half of Branson Cove properties under contract, sold.

Most Read