Chicago Newspaper Guild members are attending the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup playoff game No. 5 Saturday, June 22. The Guild isn’t going just to cheer the team on—rather, Guild members and supporters from Firefighters Union Local 2 will be leafleting outside United Center before the game starts. Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz is also a Sun-Times Media investor. The leafleting is a follow-up action to last week’s successful rally event.
The Chicago Newspaper Guild continued its pressure on Sun-Times Media with a rally June 13 that called on the newspaper company to restore the jobs of its photographers and to negotiate a fair labor contract.
The rally at the Thompson Center drew participation from others in the labor movement who have joined the Guild in taking up the photographers’ cause. Hundreds of people took part, including the victimized photographers and many staff members of the Chicago Sun-Times past and present.
Guild President David Pollard, a reporter for Pioneer Press, spoke at the rally and called on participants to not only fight the layoffs, but to speak out for the value of fair and complete journalism. Pollard said so many cuts have been made in editorial staffs at the Sun-Times and its sister newspapers throughout the suburbs that the integrity of the product has been compromised. The photographer layoffs, Pollard said, were an unprecedented elimination of an entire department.
Robert Reiter Jr., secretary-treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor, and Curtis Lawrence, an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College, charged up the crowd with their speeches. The Guild is deeply grateful for their support.
Important help also came from Jobs with Justice, Teamsters Local 458, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.
The Guild thanks all for their help. Please continue to stand with us and watch this website for more details.
The layoffs affected 28 photographers, 20 of them with Guild representation, at the Sun-Times, Pioneer Press, the Lake County (Ill.) News-Sun, the Courier-News of Elgin, the Beacon-News of Aurora, the Naperville Sun, the Herald-News of Joliet, the SouthtownStar and the Post-Tribune of Merrillville, Ind.