The 19-0 vote paves the way for writers and other staffers to negotiate their first contract in the 44-year history of the free alternative weekly.
“This is just the beginning but it is a strong and resounding one that I believe will result in very positive outcomes in the future,” David Pollard, president of the Chicago Newspaper Guild, wrote in a statement posted on the union’s website.
The Guild long has represented editorial employees of the Sun-Times, also owned by the Reader’s parent company, Wrapports LLC. Asked to comment on the vote Friday, Wrapports CEO Timothy Knight said in a statement: “We appreciate that staff exercised their right to vote and acknowledge the decision.”
Here is the text of Pollard’s message to Reader employees:
Welcome members of the Reader
From Chicago Newspaper Guild President Dave Pollard:
I first would like to say thank you all for taking the first step toward becoming a part of Chicago Newspaper Guild.
Your unanimous vote toward being recognized under the Guild shows your solidarity toward making positive changes in your workplace and creating a strong unified voice in the workplace. I believe I speak for all members of Guild and The Newspaper Guild when I say “Welcome!”
You’ve made a brave and bold decision, but you’ve joined a union that advocates aggressively on behalf of our members who work in the newsroom and our members in different industries represented by us.
This is just the beginning but it is a strong and resounding one that I believe will result in very positive outcomes in the future.
Once again: welcome, and I look forward to serving you and working with you to achieve your goals.
Yours in solidarity,
Chicago Newspaper Guild