The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


July 15, 2015billrossInquirer

The Guild filed a grievance today regarding the company’s institution of a “dress code” nobody knew about printed in a handbook nobody’s seen.

As the Company has told the Guild that repeated violations of the “dress code” could result in disciplinary action, we believe that institution of such a code, without discussion and without the grandfathering in of employees of who have repeatedly violated the alleged code for decades would be a change in work rules that was not negotiated. We believe such a move would be a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Company just finished eight months of bargaining and never mentioned a dress code once and waited until the day of’s ratification vote to bring it up for the first time.

That the Company , in correspondence with Bill Ross and Howard Gensler throughout the day, would continue to stress the importance of a dress code without any adjustments for people’s jobs, continues to show how tone deaf they are to the realities of this workplace. That employees who work nights, work outside in the heat, lug around heavy photo equipment in the sun or stare at computer screens all day under the glare of lighting issues the Company has refused to address since we moved to 801 Market, should suddenly be held to the same standards of proper office attire as employees who meet with clients or sources, is ridiculous, counter-productive and a terrible way to start the new era of cooperation we hoped the new contracts would bring.

We will keep you posted. In the meantime, we urge you to dress in the same professional manner that was acceptable to Knight-Ridder, Brian Tierney, Angelo Gordon and Lewis Katz and George Norcross.

In Solidarity,
Bill Ross, Executive Director
The Executive Board of the Newspaper Guild/CWA 38010