Long Beach Post, Business Journal Staff Unionize As Long Beach Media Guild, Demand Voluntary Recognition

Staff members at the Long Beach Journalism Initiative, which includes the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal, filed a petition for a union election on Monday, March 18.

The effort to establish the Long Beach Media Guild is unanimously supported by all eligible staff from the editorial and business sides of the All members have signed cards in support of joining Media Guild of the West, the L.A.-based Local of the NewsGuild-CWA, and sent a letter to the LBJI board of directors on March 13 seeking voluntary recognition of the union.

A public petition calling on the LBJI board and its CEO to recognize the union has collected more than 375 signatures since Friday.

Journalists and staff at the Long Beach Media Guild look forward to continuing their dedicated work in serving Long Beach by telling the stories that only our reporters can because of their deep ties to the community.

However, like an increasing number of newsrooms across the country, the Post and Business Journal have sustained layoffs in recent months and are on uncertain ground under the umbrella of the recently created nonprofit.

More cuts to the staff would not only affect the people whose jobs would be lost, but it would also negatively affect the community, which depends on the Post and Business Journal to hold city officials to account and to memorialize the rich culture that exists in the city.

“I was born and raised in Long Beach,” said Brandon Richardson, a reporter and visuals editor with the Business Journal. “I have been covering the city for nearly eight years as a Business Journal and Post reporter and photographer, and I put my love for the city into my work. Long Beach deserves a thriving independent newsroom and that is what we are fighting for.”

By forming this union, the guild aims to safeguard the workers behind our organization and make a great newsroom even better.

The LBMG will fight for:

  • Transparency and accountability from management;
  • Safeguards for a fair and collaborative work environment;
  • A workplace culture that respects and values its employees;
  • A newsroom that fosters community and solidarity;

Prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion in the newsroom and our “Diversity cannot be a buzzword,” said Jackie Rae, a multimedia columnist who has been with the Post for three years. “As we call out city leaders and organizations in Long Beach that fail to find value in equity and inclusion, we must stand firm in our resolve to never be part of any narrative that fails to recognize the intrinsic value of reflecting the rich diversity of our city.”

The staff of the LBJI is awaiting a response from CEO Melissa Evans and the three members of our board of directors — Chair Matt Kinley, Treasurer Dora Jacildo and Secretary Gwen Shaffer — to voluntarily recognize the guild, but are resolved to take this to an election if they refuse.

“As the longest-serving reporter in the newsroom I know how much the community cares about the Long Beach Post and how critical it is to their understanding of how our city works,” said Jason Ruiz, who has worked at the Post for nearly 12 years. “Forming this guild will not only help protect our employees but ensure that we can continue to provide independent, news to the community for years to come.”

The Post has served the Long Beach community for 17 years, while the Business Journal has been an institution for almost four decades.

“Our readers, members, donors and corporate supporters have been key to our success thus far,” said Stephanie Perez, account manager for the Post and Business Journal. “When I previously held the role of membership manager, people would commend us for the amazing work in covering Long Beach – I have no doubt they’ll stand with us in supporting this effort to create a stronger and more sustainable newsroom.”

The Long Beach Media Guild is the fourth nonprofit newsroom in 2024 to unionize with Media Guild of the West (TNG-CWA Local 39213), part of a recent wave of organizing in nonprofit news. MGW represents hundreds of media workers in Southern California, Arizona and Texas.

Submitted by LB Media Guild

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