The NewsGuild is investigating Gannett for allegations of unpaid overtime work, according to Kerry Flynn of CNN. Flynn writes:
NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss sent a letter to Gannett CEO Mike Reed last Friday about the union’s plan to launch an investigation and requested the company do the same. The union also called on Gannett, which owns USA Today and more than 260 local publications including The Arizona Republic, the Detroit Free Press and The Indianapolis Star, to agree to other labor protections proposed in the ongoing union bargaining taking place in some of its newsrooms.
This is long overdue, and I hope the Guild doesn’t limit itself to Gannett’s unionized papers, which tend to be the larger dailies. Small dailies and its 1,000 or so community weeklies, many of which are in Eastern Massachusetts, need to be investigated as well.
Gannett journalists are grossly underpaid even at 40 hours a week. The only way Gannett has been able to keep its debt-addled ship afloat is by demanding sacrifice after sacrifice from its employees. It’s great that the Guild is taking action. Now let’s see federal authorities get involved as well.