Statesman journalists picket Feb. 8 for fair pay


The Austin NewsGuild plans to picket at noon Feb. 8 around the Austin American-Statesman office, 8000 Metropolis Drive, Building A, STE 100. Workers plan to advocate for fair pay for American-Statesman journalists and to protect the 152-year-old publication covering Texas’ capital. 

This picket is part of a week-long lunch-out effort to push Gannett to bargain in good faith. 

The American-Statesman’s Austin NewsGuild is one of more than a dozen Gannett guilds across the country fighting for a fair contract. Together the guilds are asking for Gannett to invest in its newsrooms and local journalism.

The effects of Gannett’s leadership are clear. The company took over the Austin American-Statesman in 2019 after it merged with Gatehouse, which bought the Statesman in 2018. In 2018, the American-Statesman had 110 newsroom members on staff. Now, in 2024, the paper has 42 union newsroom staff members. Since the beginning of 2021, 41 staffers have left the Statesman. Along with the newsroom, the size of the newspaper has also shrunk. A spot evaluation of the paper showed 30 local stories one April day in 2018 compared to nine on the same day in 2023.

After three years of bargaining, the company refuses to offer more than $48,000 for a wage floor and won’t guarantee cost-of-living raises until employees have been with the company for six years. 

The Austin NewsGuild’s asks are reasonable. The union wants a reasonable wage floor for employees, who live in a city where the average home price is $625,575. Earlier this year, management at The Dallas Morning News agreed to a $55,000 wage floor for union members and management at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram agreed to a $52,000 wage floor. Average home price in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is $484,603. 

Gannett must invest in its employees to save the future of the American-Statesman. The guild has been negotiating for three years with the company, and we urge the company to stop stalling and work with union members toward a reasonable and fair contract. 

To help ensure our journalists are paid during our potential strike, Austin NewsGuild has set up a GoFundMe- Fundraiser for Bridget Grumet by Paul Albani-Burgio : Austin American-Statesman NewsGuild Strike Fund (

For more information on the strike, contact Unit Chair Nicole Villalpando, 512-627-9608,


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