News Guild Dies

The movement to establish a local chapter of The Newspaper Guild at the Morning News has died a quiet death after reporters and the Guild itself abandoned it. The end came when only three persons showed up at a meeting slated for about 15. It had almost succeeded, almost.

The Guild movement had begun in the late summer of 1973 when disgruntled reporters made contact with the Guild in Washington, D. C. The Guild is simply a union for newspapermen. Had it been successful at the News, reporters might have begun making salaries more in line with Guild scales in similar sized cities. But the bigger scene would have been the opening wedge for unions in Texas which has a right-to-work law. If the News went union, so would a lot of other papers.

A supposedly tough union organizer eventually came to town and met with the reporters. But he seemed more interested in spending time at the bar than in organizing.

It took pressure from the local AFL-CIO leadership to get the Guild rep to stay in one place long enough to answer questions that were vexing the reporters. No one knew too much about unions, and they were understandably worried over some points.

While the leaders of the movement were able to get 95 names out of a possible 154 on pledge cards, trouble was coming. The News union pressmen went on strike, and the Guild rep left town, never to return. He later asserted that the reporters were “not serious” and were only using the movement as a pry to get higher salaries.

The last meeting was scheduled to discuss what could be done to form an in-house reporters’ association. A number of reporters promised to attend. But when only three die-hards showed up, the movement was pronounced dead. The Guild had blown a chance to make in-roads into Texas.

Newsletter

Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.

Comments