Workers at seven different media outlets across the country engaged in a 24-hour walkout last week over mismanagement and severe budget and staffing cuts imposed by their hedge fund owner, Alden Global Capital. Two of those outlets, the Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press, are located in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.
Represented by the CWA-affiliated Tidewater News Guild, the workers hit the bricks with allies across the labor movement, including the Hampton Roads Port Maritime Council. CWA is a member of the Port Council, as well as the Norfolk Federation of Teachers, the Seafarers, and the Longshoremen (ILA), among others.
Alden, once referred to as the “grim reaper of American newspapers” by Vanity Fair, stripped both papers for parts, selling off physical offices and decimating staffing levels. The picket line in fact occurred at the former headquarters of the Virginian-Pilot, which Alden sold off to real estate developers. This is not the first time workers at the paper have gone on strike against Alden, as they previously took to the streets in 2021.
In addition to the Tidewater News Guild members in Hampton Roads, other CWA-Newsguild affiliates in Orlando and Chicago went on strike. A Zoom rally also took place online for those scattered around the country who wanted to show their support. The union members have sent a firm warning to management that future labor actions are not off the table if a better offer doesn’t materialize soon.