Reader editorial employees (myself included) voted 19-0 today to unionize as the Reader unit of the Chicago Newspaper Guild.
The new unit will now elect officers and select a bargaining team to negotiate a contract with Wrapports LLC, owner of the Reader and the Sun-Times. Over the years, the idea of joining a union was raised occasionally at the 43-year-old Reader without gaining any traction. Serious discussions among the staff began after the paper was purchased by Wrapports in 2012 and moved from the building it once owned at 11 E. Illinois into the Sun-Times Media suite at 350 N. Orleans. Some of the Sun-Times editorial employees they share space with already belong to the Newspaper Guild.
“We appreciate that staff exercised their right to vote and acknowledge the decision,” Wrapports CEO Tim Knight wrote in a statement.
One Reader writer said employees hope that in difficult times for the newspaper industry, Guild affiliation will give them a louder voice in the much larger company for which they now work.