Chicago Tribune on plans to unionize: Corporate owners jeopardize 'ability to do great work'

Chicago Tribune on plans to unionize: Corporate owners jeopardize 'ability to do great work'
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Journalists at The Chicago Tribune announced Wednesday that they are in the process of forming a union in an effort to secure increased pay, better benefits and job security at the 170-year-old newspaper.

The decision comes almost two months after employees The Los Angeles Times voted to unionize by an overwhelming 248-44 vote.

The Tribune is corporately owned by Chicago-based Tronc, which is also the parent company of the L.A. Times.

“A series of corporate owners — Tronc being only the most recent — has jeopardized our ability to do great work,” the union movement organizers said in an announcement.

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“Regular raises, cost-of-living adjustments and job security are non-existent. The cost of our health care benefits has significantly increased," the announcement continued. "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.”

The Hill has reached out to Tronc for comment.

Millionaire tech magnate Michael Ferro, the largest shareholder of Tronc, created a firestorm in December after entering into a $5 million payout per year from 2018 to 2020 to serve as a consultant amid hundreds of layoffs at the paper.

Ferro, 51, was the Tronc board's chairman until stepping down after being accused of sexual harassment by two women.

The publication was founded in 1847 and has held the largest circulation and subscription base in Chicago almost since its inception.