Dear Mr. Julien and Ms. Hauser:
I write regarding efforts by your employees at the Daily Hampshire Gazette and The Valley Advocate to join together in forming a union, the Pioneer Valley NewsGuild.
These two newspapers, and the local, high-quality journalism that they produce, play a crucial role in the Western Massachusetts communities that they serve.
Your employees at these newspapers - including reporters, advertising sales agents, production staff, paginators, press operators, distribution staff, customer service representatives, and custodial staff - all contribute toward producing high-quality, local journalism that is crucial to a vibrant democracy and strong communities in Western Massachusetts.
These employees deserve a chance to have a voice in their workplace, and, if they choose, join a union. In fact, federal law protects their right to do so: the National Labor Relations Act grants all workers the right to organize and prohibits employers from interfering with this right.
Well over half of the 72 eligible employees at these two newspapers have reportedly
signed a petition requesting your voluntary recognition of their union and submitted it to you on November 12th.
As this process moves forward, I strongly urge you to carefully follow all applicable laws and respect your employees' rights to join together and decide without interference whether to form a union. These rights are essential to ensuring that all workers, including those at the Daily Hampshire Gazette and The Valley Advocate, have a place at the negotiating table and a meaningful opportunity to improve their wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
United States Senator