Philly Media Union Votes to Strike, Journalists Appeal to Decency

By Kenneth Lipp

The union representing the majority of the employees of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and website hosting content from both, Philly.com, have voted in favor of a strike if their terms are not met under a new contract agreement, reports Philly Voice:

The vote by members of the the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia was 263-19 in the main unit and 24-7 in the Philly.com unit to authorize union management to plan for a strike by the company’s 445 employees, the newspaper reported. The voting was held at the Loews Hotel in Center City.

The two main issues under dispute are seniority – guild members want a “last to come, first to leave” policy in the event of layoffs – and a decision by the Philadelphia Media Network, the three outlets’ parent company, to end contributions to employee healthcare plans, possibly sticking local media workers with thousands to tens-of-thousands in additional yearly living expense.

Joel Mathis at PhillyMag drew my attention to a video starring Daily News copy editor Elizabeth Slocumb, with a plea to management:

“I have two passions in life, and they’re my family, and journalism. Please don’t make me give that up.”

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About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

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