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Chicago Tribune Workers Push to Unionize

For the first time in more 171 years, journalists at the Chicago Tribune could have a union. “Greetings. We’re the journalists of the Chicago Tribune and its community publications, and we proudly announce the formation of the Chicago Tribune Guild,” a Twitter account bearing the same name wrote Wednesday. “We’re unionizing to protect the future of the newspapers we love and bring readers the best journalism possible.” The Tribune has traditionally taken a hard line anti-union stance. An open letter signed by 46 employees aired many grievances with working conditions at the Tribune, and urged their colleagues to sign on. “…A series of corporate owners — Tronc being only the most recent — has jeopardized our ability to do great work,” the letter reads in part. “Regular raises, cost-of-living adjustments and job security are non-existent. The cost of our healthcare benefits has significantly increased. Our maternity and paternity policy is inadequate….Our primary goal in forming a union is to give us, the Tribune’s journalists, a voice in setting the course for the publications we hold dear.” Members of the Guild also criticized the habit of executives giving themselves large paychecks and other compensation while rank and file employees and newsroom resources go underfunded. “They have looted the company, and the Tronc executives have paid themselves outsized salaries,” said Charlie J. Johnson, a homepage editor at the Tribune. (Robert Feeder) (NPR)

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