Friday, July 28, 2017

Solidarity for The Voice

The Village Voice, historically the alternative voice of New York City, is struggling to save its soul.

Two years ago the paper was purchased by Peter Barbey, a member of one of America's 50 richest families, according to Forbes. It looked good at first. The staff was hopeful. "The atmosphere at the Voice, though, quickly soured," Hamilton Nolan explains in his thorough piece on the story, "The Village Voice's Liberal Savior Owner Is Trying to Crush its Union."

An editor was hired and fired. The paper got a cosmetic overhaul. And Barbey "is no longer perceived as the hero who will save the day." Union negotiations have been especially tough. In his article, Nolan lays out the details of what could be lost, including Affirmative Action, child care leave, sick days, severance, and much more.

In response, earlier this week, a host of respected authors and journalists signed an Open Letter to Peter Barbey.

"We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the Village Voice Union," they say. "We hope you will meet its members with a fair and reasonable contract, upholding their hard-won rights and benefits. If you do, our entire field will be much richer for it."

The letter is signed by Hilton Als, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Vivian Gornick, Colson Whitehead, Manohla Dargis, Michael Musto, and many more.

If you would like to support the Voice's union, consider a donation to their Strike Fund: "In the event of a strike, Voice employees who are members of the union will not be paid. Your donation will be used to help us survive, and will help show management that the community supports our struggle."

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