Announcing the Bangor Daily News Union
For immediate release: May 4, 2022
Announcing the Bangor Daily News Union: Solidarity for journalists, news editors, print designers and photographers at Maine’s largest independent news source
BANGOR, Maine -- The newsroom staff of the Bangor Daily News and Bangor Publishing Co. are proud to announce that we are unionizing with The News Guild of Maine, Local 31128 of The NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America.
The Bangor Daily News is Maine’s most-visited digital news website, and one of its oldest newspapers, operating as a family-owned business since 1889. We choose to work here because we value an independent press, and because we are committed to reporting the truth about local governments, schools and institutions, and to telling the stories of Mainers.
“What is the BDN? It's us, the reporters, photographers, web editors and designers who produce the newspaper every day,” said BDN photojournalist Troy Bennett. “Let's seize this opportunity to come together and bargain on the matters directly affecting us. It'll strengthen the paper and all of Maine journalism.”
We are unionizing in order to improve working conditions, advocating for pay equity, fair reimbursement and benefit policies, and work schedules that reflect the actual time and effort we put into our jobs.
“In the bit more than two years that I've been with the BDN, I've seen many smart, caring reporters come and go,” said BDN political reporter Jessica Piper. “For the newspaper to thrive, we need talented staff to stay. Our union can ensure that everyone at the BDN has a seat at the table, and that staffers are empowered and supported as we work to inform our communities.”
With a fair contract, we can keep staffing levels sufficient so that we can fulfill our mission, and reduce destabilizing staff turnover. We want a seat at the table for future decisions that affect all employees at Bangor Publishing Co.
“In my experience, 95 percent of the stress in my job comes from inside, not outside the BDN,” said criminal justice reporter Judy Harrison. “If the company wants people to stay for 20 years or more, as I have, things must change. A union can help shepherd in those changes that will be advantageous to employees like me, who are getting toward the end of their careers, and people like my many young colleagues who are just beginning theirs.”
“I've been a journalist in Maine for 35 years, the bulk of which has been spent with the Bangor Daily News. I can't imagine doing anything else with anyone else. While it sounds cliche, it's like family,” said BDN feature writer Julia Bayly. “And, like all families, over time people and dynamics change. You still love them, but recognize that steps must be taken to keep the family strong and viable.”
We invite you to join in our fight for solidarity and support for our journalists, editors and designers who work hard every day to bring you the news of Maine. As we await recognition from management, we are asking that our community members show support by signing our ActionNetwork petition.
Please visit our website (cwalocals.org/bdn-union) to sign the petition and send an email to management, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About the BDN Union
The BDN Union represents journalists, digital editors, page designers, photographers and editorial page writers at the Bangor Daily News, fiddleheadfocus.com, thecounty.me, St. John Valley Times, Piscataquis Observer, Aroostook Republican, Houlton Pioneer Times, Presque Isle Star-Herald and the Penobscot Times.
About The NewsGuild-CWA
The NewsGuild’s members include journalists, other media workers, interpreters and translators, workers at organizations dedicated to fighting for social justice, and the staff of nonprofit organizations. The NewsGuild is a sector of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents hundreds of thousands of workers in telecommunications and information technology, the airline industry, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, the nonprofit sector, and other fields.