FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Journalists with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper continued their strike Tuesday, claiming they've been pushed to the brink and that parent company McClatchy has refused to bargain in good faith over a new contract.
Union workers with the Fort Worth NewsGuild announced the strike Monday. The union said McClatchy, owned by hedge fund Chatham Asset Management, then revoked workers' health care benefits, said it would post their jobs online and encouraged other workers to cross the picket line.
The union is seeking a minimum wage of $57,500 for workers living in Fort Worth. The NewsGuild alleges McClatchy countered with $45,000.
“Low wages, hostile working conditions and a hemorrhaging industry have pushed journalists to the brink, including senior reporters with deep knowledge and connections in the community,” the union said in the strike announcement Monday.
In a story published Monday, Star-Telegram President and Editor Steve Coffman said the paper would continue “covering the news that matters to Tarrant County and North Texas.”
“We look forward to reaching an agreement with our valued employees,” Coffman said.
Coffman and union representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Associated Press.
It was not immediately clear how many workers were on strike. The union has said more than 90% of its members voted to approve a strike.
The Star-Telegram strike comes as the newspaper industry continues to shrink after two decades of job losses and newspaper closures. Union journalists at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have been on strike for several weeks in the first newspaper strike in the United States in decades.