Arizona Republic staff call for union
Journalists at The Arizona Republic on Thursday voted in favor of unionizing the newsroom, capping issues such as job security, workplace flexibility and pay and benefits.
The 64-30 vote was conducted on secret ballots at The Republic’s downtown Phoenix office. The National Labor Relations Board supervised the ballot and will take a week to declare the result. If the results are certified without challenge, it will start a collective bargaining process in the Phoenix newsroom.
The vote came against the backdrop of a proposed acquisition of Gannett by GateHouse Media which owns The Arizona Republic, USA TODAY and more than 100 other daily newspapers, websites and other companies in the U.S. and the UK.
“We respect the rights of our employees and their decision, as we have said since the beginning of this effort,” Arizona Republic Executive Editor Greg Burton said. “We will move forward and continue serving Arizonans as the leading news organization in the state focusing on our mission — important, revelatory journalism that makes our community a better and richer place to live.”
Although meetings were held to discuss the pros and cons of forming a union. This is what one member had to say:
“We have sent a powerful message to Gannett that we expect dignified layoff severance, fair wages and a voice in the decisions that affect our future,” said consumer reporter Rebekah Sanders, who joined the newspaper in 2008 and is a member of the organizing committee.