Unionized Desert Sun journalists launch first open-ended strike in paper’s history

Only five American newsroom unions have held indefinite strikes in the past two decades


Unionized journalists at The Desert Sun launched an open-ended strike Friday to protest what they say is bad faith bargaining on the part of parent company Gannett.

The work stoppage is the first indefinite strike in The Desert Sun’s 97-year history, according to the union. Workers at the Palm Springs, California, newspaper publicly announced their union campaign in December 2020 and have been negotiating a first contract for three years. The union is expecting all 15 members to participate in the strike, unit steward Tom Coulter said.

Though one-day walkouts have become an increasingly common tactic among newsroom unions, open-ended strikes are relatively rare. The Desert Sun strike is the fifth such work stoppage in the U.S. in recent history. Coulter, who covers four cities in the Coachella Valley for the paper, said the union needed to take this step to help workers stay at the Sun and continue local reporting.

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