All together now
The Newspaper Guild plans to spend $500,000 to organize a union at the Contra Costa Times. It's a response to the union-busting ways of owner Dean Singleton, who merged news desks at his Bay Area papers to break the union at the Oakland Tribune.
It's not clear to me what unions have done to help reporters at the Singleton papers where they exist. From my standpoint, they misunderstand as well as anyone the challenges facing newsrooms and the Singleton business model. These misunderstandings threaten to bring about bad collective bargaining agreements.
Here's the success anecdote: A veteran reporter at the Hayward Daily Review collapses from all of the extra work she has to do and takes two weeks sick time to recover. When she returns, she's reassigned to a rookie beat. Two union employees show up at her house and offer to help.
Punchline: The guild was not able to get her regular beat back, but (the reporter) says she was able to retrieve her self-respect.