The Everett Herald Saga Continues: EverettGuild Members Striking on Monday

June 22, 2024

Everett Jobs, Everett Economy

Everett NewsGuild petitioning for a living wage. Oct 2023

On Tuesday, June 18th, the new owners of Sound Publishing, Mississippi-based Carpenter Media Group, gave one-day notice that they would be laying off 55% of the workforce.

The next day was full of sadness, especially at their biggest newspaper, the 123-year-old newspaper company, The Everett Herald. One-by-one workers were told that they are being let go.

Herald reporters tried to capture this moment, by writing an article about it. Then it was censored the next morning—removed completely from the site. Then it was put back up, but heavily altered.

The boldest statement in that article remained: the publisher of the Everett Herald, Rudi Alcott remarked, “Moving forward, operations are not going to change much. The readers won’t notice.” As if the 62 people just let go didn’t actually matter.

Carpenter Media Group was probably looking forward to the news dying out over the weekend, but the Everett NewsGuild has other plans.

On Monday, June 24th, members of the Everett NewsGuild will be striking. 10 of 18 were laid off, but eight remain.

Though just a one-day strike, its intention is to protest the layoffs, along with the company’s “secretive implementation of a quota system that judges journalists not on the quality of their work, but on their story counts and page views,” writes former Herald reporter, Isabella Breda.

Under federal labor law, the employer cannot implement layoffs without first bargaining with the union.

Also, if the 55% number is true, quick math tells me that Carpenter Media Group and Sound Publishing may have also violated the WARN Act, which requires companies with more than 100 employees to notify workers, state, and local representatives 60 days before a mass layoff. If the US Department of Labor determines this is the case, then the former staff may be entitled to an amount equal to back pay and benefits for the period of violation up to 60 days.

The strike will be Monday, June 24th, from 9am to 3pm, starting at the intersection of Colby & Hewitt in downtown Everett, ending at the intersection of Colby & 41st near the Herald office.

In the meantime, former Herald reporter, Isabella Breda, has put together a gofundme that has already raised $6,755 of their $8,000 goal (at the time of this writing) to help cover the lost wages during the one-day strike.

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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett.

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