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Daily Hampshire Gazette columnists strike to support paper's union

Massachusetts State Sen. Jo Comerford, who writes a monthly column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, speaks outside the paper's headquarters in Northampton. (Alden Bourne/NEPM)
Massachusetts State Sen. Jo Comerford, who writes a monthly column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, speaks outside the paper's headquarters in Northampton. (Alden Bourne/NEPM)

A group of monthly columnists for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton said they're not writing any more columns until the company that owns the paper agrees to a contract with its employees.

The 12 writers include a Springfield pastor, a Smith College professor and two elected officials.

One of them is state Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa.

At a press conference outside the Gazette on Monday, Sabadosa made it clear why her columns would no longer appear.

"We have to write for a paper that we can believe and we believe in a paper that treats its workers fairly," she said.

The Pioneer Valley NewsGuild, which represents Gazette staff, said it's seeking better pay and protections against the outsourcing of graphics and copy editing jobs.

In October, union members announced they wouldn't work beyond their official hours to protest possible outsourcing.

The chairman of Newspapers of New England, which owns the Gazette, could not be reached for comment on the move by the columnists.

The union said it will be negotiating with the company this Thursday.

This story first appeared on New England Public Media.

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