Providence Journal Writers Stage Byline Strike

Providence – Reporters and photographers at the Providence Journal will not be put their names on their work this week. They are staging a byline and credit strike in another attempt to force more contract negotiations with the newspaper.

The byline strike by members of the Providence Newspaper guild is the latest move in a labor dispute with that has gone on for almost two years. More than 500 guild members have been working at the newspaper without a contract since December of 1999. Medical reporter Felice Freyer says the journal has sent a message to its workers that they don't count, and this is Intended to remind the management and the public That they do count.

"When we don't put our names on the stories, they get very very upset. So the byline strike kind of shows the cognitive dissonance, or maybe better described as the utter stupidity of the way they're treating us It's something we have the right to do, and stories will appear without names on them so they can't use us, our persons, to sell their paper,? Freyer said.

Union leaders say job actions such as the byline strike will cease only when the Journal agrees to continue negotiations with the Guild. The last talks were in February.

A National Labor Relations Board hearing on grievances filed by the Newspaper Guild is tentatively scheduled for the end of next month, but Guild members say they have received word it may be postponed again.

Providence Journal management and their lawyer did not return telephone calls seeking comment.