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Firings and Mass Cuts at StreetWise Newspaper

StreetWise management continues to blatantly disregard labor law and workers rights, in firing one employee and cutting the hours of almost the entire staff involved in a unionizing effort with the Chicago Newspaper Guild.

Even as the National Labor Relations Board is investigating two Unfair Labor Practice charges filed against StreetWise by the Chicago Newspaper Guild, StreetWise management continues to violate labor law blatantly. On Monday, April 16, management engaged in firings and cutting the hours and benefits of employees involved in the unionizing effort.
Work Empowerment Center director John Sanbonmatsu, who was involved in the unionizing drive and who had frequently spoken up about the bad working conditions and exploitation of the vendors, was fired, supposedly for “under-performing.”
Meanwhile editor Charity Crouse and production chief Allan Gomez were cut from full-time to part-time status, and cashier Monique Bean, who had previously had her hours cut and been suspended without pay in retaliation for union organizing, had her hours further reduced.
Part-time employees including Associate Editor Kari Lydersen and Commentary Editor John Wilson, both involved in the union drive, also took pay cuts, and the budget for freelancers was cut by about 60 percent, effectively increasing the workload on staff even as their hours and pay were cut.
Executive director Anthony Oliver has reportedly blamed the staff for financial distress at the paper, saying the bad publicity generated by staff grievances has caused granters to pull out.
Meanwhile vendor Devin Nealy continues to be banned from buying papers after speaking out against Oliver at a vendor meeting. Nealy is now suffering extreme financial hardship, having gone five days with no access to papers. (Since he was banned from the building about two weeks ago, other vendors have tried to help supply him with papers.)
For more information contact Karilyde (at) aol.com. To support Devin Nealy contact heavytheg (at) onebox.com.
 
 

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