“The Orlando Sentinel built an award-winning, nationally recognized team with incomparable institutional knowledge and unrivaled connections to Central Florida — and it has been gutted, with senior journalists and talented young reporters pushed out as our corporate management in Chicago and our largest shareholders have been rewarded. In January alone, the Sentinel lost 130 years of journalism expertise. …”
– sentinel guild
In the face of a changing newsscape across the country, a number of Orlando Sentinel employees are looking to unionize.
Members of the Sentinel Guild (Twitter | Website) have filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board and are requesting that Tribune Publishing (Website), the Orlando Sentinel‘s parent company, recognize their efforts. According to a press release issued earlier today, if Tribune declines the request for recognition of the Guild, employees will then vote on whether to form a union supervised by the NLRB.
Over 78 percent of 50 eligible reporters, editors, photographers, columnists, and newsroom staff have signed on to support the effort to unionize under the Sentinel Guild. A source at Orlando Sentinel told Bungalower that some employees aren’t included on the list because they are part of the editorial team and are considered management. You can see all of the employees who have officially signed on to support the effort HERE.
According to the release, the decision to unionize was made in the face of Alden Global Capital disclosing it had become the largest shareholder in Tribune Publishing this past November. Alden Global Capital is affectionately known as the “destroyer of newspapers” and Orlando Sentinel has already dwindled from 300 journalists to just 90 in the past 15 years.
“We must invest in ourselves. With a unified voice, we seek a newsroom that reflects our community with enough journalists to tell its stories. We seek respect for the contributions of our veteran journalists, a path of growth for our early- and mid-career journalists, and stability for all. We seek fair compensation and benefits, a healthy work-life balance and the opportunity to grow professionally.
By forming this union, we pledge to work with the leadership at the Orlando Sentinel and Tribune Publishing to maintain our highest standards of journalism and our role keeping watch over Central Florida. We are asking Tribune Publishing to voluntarily recognize the Sentinel Guild as a member of The NewsGuild-CWA.”
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