Thomson Reuters in the US has been referred to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by the Newspaper Guild of New York for planned cutbacks to the pay packages of journalists and other workers that are members of the union.
The reduced payments work out at roughly 10 per cent per worker, says the Guild, which has been in contract negotiations with the agency for more than a year, in a release.
In June 2009, Boston’s Newspaper Guild made a similar charge and challenged a pending 23 per cent pay cut proposed by The New York Times. The two parties reached an agreement in July with the pay cut reduced, but Guild members were left fearful for their jobs after the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for approximately 170 employees was also agreed.
But in this instance Reuters isn’t only facing charges by the Guild over changes to pay: the agency has also been brought to task by the Guild for its social media policy, which bans employees from updating personal Twitter accounts with posts which, in the words of the company, ‘would damage the reputation of Reuters News or Thomas Reuters’.
As the statement from the Guild points out:
A union activist was “reminded” of the policy after responding to a senior manager’s call to “join the (Twitter) conversation on making Reuters the best place to work” with a tweet that said: “One way to make this the best place to work is to deal honestly with Guild members.”