Union opposes new Dow Jones policy over books and external projects
The IAPE 1096, the union that represents journalists at Dow Jones & Co. publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, issued the following statement on Friday:
Dow Jones announced a new policy Friday for WSJ news personnel in which the company claimed new and potentially expansive rights over employees’ efforts to write books or pursue other external projects. We have several concerns about the policy, which appears to depart from industry standards, and believe the company cannot lawfully impose it on its own.
We will have more to say later, but for now, know this: We intend to fight this attempt to unilaterally change the terms of our employment. IAPE sent a letter to DJ representatives this afternoon seeking more information and requesting negotiations.
IAPE was first notified in late March that DJ intended to seek revisions and expansions of its policies on external projects. In April, the union raised a series of questions about a draft document presented by the company, and met with company officials on April 22. In May, DJ presented IAPE with a further revised proposed policy that did not address questions previously raised by the union. The revisions also appeared to be an attempt to further expand rights provided to management.
IAPE expected to have further discussions with management over the policy. Instead, the company announced it Friday, without notifying the union first. Past policies of this nature were subject to bargaining, and we believe this one is, too.
Dow Jones also has been working on additional policies related to newsroom employees’ involvement with podcasts and newsletters. IAPE believes it has the right to negotiate over those policies as well.
We have received a steady stream of feedback today from concerned members, some of it quite angry, over the company’s proposed new approach. Thanks to those of you who have reached out. If you would like to be involved in our efforts to address this issue, please let us know. Continue to share your thoughts by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the office at (609) 275-6020.