WSJ’s union wants job assurances regarding Apple deal
The Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees Local 1096, which represents journalists at The Wall Street Journal, has issued the following statement regarding the paper’s plans to create 50 new jobs around its agreement to provide content for the Apple News+ service:
The Wall Street Journal last week announced plans to hire some 50 newsroom staffers to meet the needs of its partnership with Apple Inc.’s new subscription product. The news of the hiring spree thrilled IAPE, which has been run by and for the employees of Dow Jones for more than 80 years.
But many of those new positions will potentially be filled with contract workers, according to job postings by the company, undercutting the union protections and benefits afforded to the 1,250 union-represented employees at WSJ, and its parent company.
This news of a potentially drastic increase in contract reporters—in effect the creation of an unprotected newsroom—deeply troubles IAPE.
Reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch as well as others represented by IAPE receive a variety of benefits through its negotiated collective bargaining agreement, including health care, paid time off, lay-off protections and the right to have a union representative present during disagreements with managers.
These benefits support the staff who help produce some of the finest journalism in the world, and IAPE believes these protections should not be eroded in connection with a partnership with an outside company.
IAPE calls on WSJ Editor in Chief Matt Murray and Dow Jones Chief Executive William Lewis to publicly guarantee that no unprotected newsroom will be created through the Apple deal.
“The news that many of these potential new hires could be contract workers—coming after years of painful newsroom employee reductions through buyouts and layoffs— is a slap in the face to the hardworking, professional reporters who give it their all every day of the week to put out the best product in the business,” said IAPE’s Board of Directors. “These new reporters need to be hired as full-time journalists, and afforded the same rights and benefits as everybody else in The Wall Street Journal newsroom. With great momentum at our back as a news organization, now is not the time to create a divided staff with eroded benefits.”