Newsroom employees at The Los Angeles Times voted overwhelmingly on Friday to unionize in what advocates are calling "a historic day."
The 248-44 vote was tallied by the National Labor Relations Board. Times employees will be represented by the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America, based in Washington, D.C.
The NewsGuild, which represents 25,000 reporters, editors and other employees at media outlets throughout the U.S., hailed the decision, calling it a "landslide victory."
The final vote count for the @latguild: 248 in favor, 44 against. A landslide victory, and a historic day for the Los Angeles Times newsroom. ✊— L.A. Times Guild (@latguild) January 19, 2018
The vote to unionize was based on the general platform of gaining higher salaries and better benefits.
Tronc Inc., which is the parent company of the 136-year-old publication, said in a statement it looks forward to "productive conversations with union leadership" moving forward.
"We respect the outcome of the election and look forward to productive conversations with union leadership as we move forward," said Marisa Kollias, spokeswoman for Tronc. "We remain committed to ensuring that the Los Angeles Times is a leading source for news and information and to producing the award-winning journalism our readers rely on."
A copy editor at the Times who organized the effort to unionize told the paper it was important for employees to have a say "in the decision-making process."
"This was a long time coming, and we're all thrilled that this has finally happened," Kristina Bui said. "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."