News & Commentary

June 6, 2024

Luke Hinrichs

Luke Hinrichs is a student at Harvard Law School.

In today’s news and commentaries, Tribune journalists ratify first union contract with Alden Global Capital; and Nurses at two of New Jersey’s largest hospitals ratify new labor agreements as a strike remains imminent at a third health care center where negotiations are ongoing.

After years of negotiations between Alden Global Capital (Alden) and NewsGuild-CWA union journalists at eight Tribune publications, the journalists voted to ratify their first contract. The two-year contract guarantees raises, protects the 401k match benefits, and increases job security among other key provisions. Alden’s reputation as a “vulture” hedge fund raised concern for union members in Tribune Publishing newsrooms when the fund acquired the Tribune Publishing newspaper chain in 2021. The contract comes after Tribune journalists engaged in a 24-hour strike in February of this year—the largest coordinated action the unionized journalists have taken against Alden Global Capital. Newsrooms covered by the contract include: Orlando Sentinel, Tidewater (The Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press, The Virginia Gazette, and Tidewater Review), Morning Call, Suburban Chicago Tribune (The Beacon-News, The Courier-News, The Naperville Sun, and The Daily Southtown), Design and Production Studios, Hartford Courant, and Tribune Content Agency.

Contracts for 1,500 nurses at Cooper University Health Care in Camden, 800 nurses at Englewood Health in Englewood, and 750 nurses at Palisades Medical Center (part of Hackensack Meridian Health) in North Bergen expired at the end of May 2024. The nurses, members of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, voted last week to authorize a strike action if their new contracts do not include specific nurse-to-patient ratios. As of June 6, 2024, nurses at Cooper University and Englewood Hospital have ratified new labor deals guaranteeing improved staff-to-patient ratios. The health care workers’ negotiations with Hackensack Meridian Palisades Medical Center are ongoing as a strike is already authorized if a deal cannot be reached.

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