Today's Top Stories

A Tale of Two Union Organizing Drives and One University

As soon as the votes were counted Wednesday, officials at Pittsburgh’s Point Park University wasted no time welcoming and congratulating the new part-time faculty union organized by the United Steelworkers. “We are pleased that so many adjunct faculty members took the time to make their voices heard on this important issue,” university spokesman Lou Corsaro said, making clear the school will recognize and respect its new union. No such embrace was offered a decade ago – or since – to full-time faculty who voted to join The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s Pittsburgh local in 2004. Point Park University hasn’t even been to the bargaining table, refusing to recognize the union and taking the battle to the National Labor Relations Board, where it sits. Guild leaders are hopeful the new union means new momentum for the full-timers. "It's time Point Park University drops its long and expensive appeal of the will of full-time faculty to be represented by the Guild and to sit down across the bargaining table so both sides can negotiate a fair and equitable first contact,” Pittsburgh Guild President Michael Fuoco said. Photo: Point Park U's new union members celebrate victory.

SCOTUSblog Worthy of Supreme Court Press Credentials

The Guild is weighing in on the fight to restore press credentials to SCOTUSblog, the superb Supreme Court news website. SCOTUSblog has been in existence since 2002 and previously has been awarded press credentials. "How is it that news agencies run by foreign governments can qualify for credentials, while an American website providing essential legal news can’t?" the statement asks. "Simply put, SCOTUSblog has the best and most complete coverage of the Supreme Court that can be found. It is relied on by other new organizations. Its coverage is balanced, non-partisan, non-advocacy and inherently fair... We urge the Standing Committee to revisit and reverse its decision. Allow SCOTUSblog the access it needs to provide the comprehensive coverage that so many of us – journalists included -- have come to depend on."

Guild: USW Organizing Victory at Point Park Should Re-Open Door to Bargaining with Full-Time Faculty

A union victory Wednesday for part-time faculty at Pittsburgh's Point Park University should send a message to the administration that it is high time to bargain in good faith with the full-time faculty who voted a decade ago to join the Pittsburgh Newspaper Guild. In a statement isued after the United Steelworkers victory for adjunct faculty, the Guild said: The Newspaper Guild-CWA congratulates the part-time faculty of Point Park University on their decision to unionize. They have decided to speak with a unified voice to their employer. The full-time faculty of the University, represented by the Pittsburgh Newspaper Guild took that step a decade ago. “Instead of listening and working in partnership with its employees, Point Park University has attempted to drown out the voices of its full-time faculty with years of litigation aimed at avoiding its legal obligation to negotiate a contract,” said Tim Schick,TNG-CWA’s organizing director. “With the university’s entire faculty now unionized, it is time for the school’s administrators to uncover their ears and listen to the voices of its employees.” Photo: Part-time faculty members cheer their union victory.

Outrage Swells as Egyptian President Refuses Pardon

Imprisoned Al-Jazeera Journalists Face Difficult Appeals Process

The Newspaper Guild-CWA, journalists, news organizations and human rights groups around the world are continuing to express outrage over Egypt’s imprisonment of three Al-Jazeera journalists. After a sham trial on spurious terrorism-related charges, the three men were sentenced Monday to seven to 10 years in a maximum-security prison. They have already been held since December, reportedly housed together in a dank and tiny cell. On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdel fatah al-Sisi rebuffed calls from Barack Obama and other world leaders that he pardon the journalists. “We will not interfere in judicial rulings," Sisi said, as reported by The Guardian. "We must respect judicial rulings and not criticize them even if others do not understand this." “The only one failing to understand this absurdity is Egypt, which staged a farcical trial to railroad three journalists who were simply doing their jobs: reporting on the country’s civil unrest,” TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said. “The president’s refusal to even consider a pardon is more evidence that Egypt has no genuine interest in justice and democracy.”