Tronc, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, recognized its newsrooms' union on Sunday.
The recognition comes after more than 85 percent of eligible employees at the Chicago Tribune, six smaller local papers and the design and production studios owned by Tronc signed cards expressing support for unionization.
Tronc’s voluntary union recognition means that legal protections for all the included newsrooms take effect immediately, according to a statement from the NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America.
“The Guild is eager to take its seat at the bargaining table and is pleased that Tronc has recognized the legal rights of its workers and the strength of their desire to unionize,” a spokesperson for the union said in a statement. “It is a clear victory for journalism and journalists.”
The newsrooms will be divided into three bargaining units made up of the Chicago Tribune and RedEye as one unit, the other local papers as a second unit and the design and production studio as its own unit.
The Tronc newsrooms began the process to form a union in April, almost two months after employees at the Los Angeles Times overwhelmingly voted to unionize.
The National Labor Relations Board is expected to certify the new union in the coming week.