The East Bay Express’s Robert Gammon, a former union official at the Alameda Newspaper Group, writes this morning that the planned merger of ANG’s newsrooms with the Contra Costa Times might cause owner MediaNews to push for a decertification of the Guild at ANG. (Publisher John Armstrong described his consolidation plans in a memo posted here yesterday. Here’s a link to a George Avalos story describing the consolidation.)
The merger would mix non-union employees at the Contra Costa Times with the unionized workers at the ANG papers, including the Oakland Tribune, San Mateo County Times, etc.
After the merger, if the combined news operation has more non-union than union members, the employees can circulate a petition calling for a decertification election of all employees in the bargaining unit. Gammon said Guild officials are counting heads.
Decertification means the Guild would no longer be the exclusive bargaining agent for employees, which would effectively end union representation.