Sunday, January 21, 2018

Los Angeles Times journalists vote 248-44 to unionize

The iconic LA Times Building. photo courtesy of nextimage3d.

Journalists at the Los Angeles Times have overwhelmingly elected to form a union, voting 248 to 44 to be represented by the NewsGuild Communication Workers of America.

The union drive was launched publicly in October and culminated in an election earlier this month. Results were tallied Friday by the National Labor Relations Board.

Guild organizer Kristina Bui, a copy editor at The Times, said: “This was a long time coming, and we’re all thrilled that this has finally happened. The newsroom has put up with so much disruption and mismanagement, and this vote just underscores how much of a say we need to have in the decision-making process. The newsroom is demanding a seat at the bargaining table.”

A staff organizing committee of 44 Times journalists had urged workers to unionize in response to years of corporate turnover, advertising declines and cutbacks that have shrunk The Times’ staff from more than 1,000 in the late 1990s to fewer than 400 today. Organizers said they hoped to bargain for job protections, salary increases and equal pay for men and women, and they argued that executives of the Chicago-based owner are overpaid.

Union representation overall has been declining in the U.S. for decades — about 12% of American workers were covered by a union contract in 2017, down from 19% in 1987, according to federal data — but organized labor has made gains in the online media business.

Over the next several weeks, the guild will hold an election to select its officers, and bargaining over a contract will begin.

Read the full story at The Times website.


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