VIDEO: ProJo Guild Marches to Protest Pay Cuts & Imposed Conditions by “Overlords”

Friday, September 22, 2017


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John Hill, head of the newspaper Guild wearing the vulture mask to protest lack of raises

The Providence Journal newspaper Guild marched on Fountain Street on Thursday against what they are saying are imposed conditions by the powers that control the Journal. The Projo is owned by GateHouse media, which is controlled or managed by two other corporate entities which are ultimately owned by Japanese investment firm SoftBank.  

Guild spokesperson John Hill said in a statement, "We’ve been working under imposed conditions since September 2014, when the GateHouse corporation took over the Journal on behalf of its 'overlord,' a hedge fund called Fortress. They abolished step increases for new hires and current employees. Their conditions cut pay for new hires by about 30 percent [from what it was previously]."

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"We lost union jurisdiction and they reserve the right to outsource or work or replace us with contract workers or freelancers at their whim. They did exactly that when they gutted our union copy desk and page composing jobs, eliminating about two-thirds of our members’ jobs in those departments and sending the work to a non-union remote work center in Austin Texas. And now major developed projects, once the trademark of the Journal news staff, are being assigned to freelancers," added Hill. 

 "Layoffs and buyouts have continued since September 2014, to where the news staff is now down to 16 reporters covering the entire state in the news department. For a comparison in the early 2000s, the West Bay and Blackstone Bureaus had about a dozen reporters each," said Hill. "We haven’t had a raise since 2008. But executive management has gotten annual bonuses."


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