Inquirer reporter blasts promise to publish despite threatened strike


Editor’s note: The Inquirer, Daily News and employees, represented by the Newspaper Guild of Philadelphia, are locked in contract negotiations with company management over issues like health care costs and employee seniority provisions. While labor talks have been extended, the Guild plans a strike authorization vote next week; yesterday, PMN spokesperson Amy Buckman wrote that in the event of a strike, the company was still planning to publish its products. Inquirer reporter Barbara Boyer penned this open letter to Buckman, and gave Billy Penn permission to publish it.

Dear Amy,

Thank you for this IMPORTANT update, specifically:

“While the Guild has indicated that they may take a strike authorization vote as early as next week, rest assured that even if they do strike, we will continue to print and deliver important news, interesting features and valuable online content to serve the readers, subscribers and advertisers of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and”

Just to be clear, what this really says is that the company is confident that scabs – and enough workers – will cross a picket line to continue to publish. Additionally, that the company believes the experienced staff is expendable, and can be replaced so easily that there will be no disruption of services to our readers.

This attitude is why the Guild has been unsuccessful in negotiating a reasonable contract. We are not widgets. We have enough self-respect to know we deserve adequate pay, medical benefits, and job security.

As a child, I watched my father picket on Christmas Day, fighting for a quality of life he wanted to provide for our family. I respect both of my parents who fought hard to maintain standards, which included their pensions, throughout their careers. They taught me that an ethical employer provides for employees.

For those of you more recently hired, be sure that no one at this paper wants to sacrifice your careers to preserve our own. We have a proud history of fighting layoffs, and we are committed to preserving all jobs. It is unethical to hire one day, and the next day insist there is no money to pay salaries and benefits.

Do not allow these scare tactics to weaken resolve to fight for what is right.

In closing, I would like to thank you again, Amy, for this IMPORTANT update.

In solidarity,

Barbara Boyer, reporter
Hired in 1997

Mornings are for coffee and local news

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter gives you a daily roundup of the top Philly stories you need to start your day.

You finished another Billy Penn article — keep it up!

We hope you found it useful, fun, or maybe even both. If you want more stories like this, will you join us as a member today?

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Your donation brought this story to life

Billy Penn only exists because of supporters like you. If you find our work valuable, consider making a sustaining donation today.

Being informed looks good on you

Thanks for reading another article, made possible by members like you. Want to share BP with a friend?



Chris Krewson is the executive director of LION Publishers, a national nonprofit association that serves local journalism entrepreneurs build sustainable news organizations, and the founding editor of Billy Penn. He lives in Havertown.