If you get the Friday Pioneer Press, you might notice something missing: staffers’ names.
The “byline strike” — a time-honored way that union newsrooms publicly demonstrate their displeasure — will protest management’s unwillingness to bargain concessions rather than impose nine layoffs June 30.
The newsroom’s Newspaper Guild was supposed to vote that day on whether to negotiate givebacks that would forestall job cuts. Howver, a few days before the vote, management said no dice.
Depending on who you talk to, the union should’ve voted earlier, or management should’ve made it clear the vote was fruitless after the union announced its plans June 12.
The power to withold bylines is in the Guild’s current contract, but it begs the question: do such strikes work? They may be good for the soul, but many readers don’t notice bylines, as most journalists know. However, witholding names does get management’s attention, though not always in a productive way.
Guild spokesman Dave Orrick had no comment on the byline strike, pending a statement to be issued later today or early tomorrow.
It’ll be interesting to see if any PiPresser keeps their names on their copy or graphics tomorrow.