Workers at the Los Angeles Times overwhelmingly voted to join the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. (CWA is an MTD affiliate.)
As announced by the National Labor Relations Board, the vote was 248 for and 44 against. This marks the first time in the newspaper’s 136-year history that journalists and staffers voted for union representation.
The unit must elect officers and prepare to enter negotiations for its first contract. Among the issues leading to the vote were job security and benefits.
The announcement came at the same time that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported union membership rose by 260,000 during 2017. The BLS stated union density among all workers remains at 10.7 percent.
“In the face of a challenging year, the power of working people is on the rise,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, responding to the report. “Together, we organized historic new unions, stood up to powerful corporations, and won higher wages. But today’s data is more than numbers on a page, it’s a growing movement of working people that can’t be measured as easily. When more union members fill the halls of power, when wages rise and inequality shrinks, and when a growing number of people see that we can and will change the rules of this economy – that’s when you’ll know unions are on the rise.”
The findings noted three-quarters of the new members were under the age of 35. In addition, the Department of Professional Employees AFL-CIO pointed out nearly 90,000 of these newly organized workers came from the professional and technical ranks. Both of these figures reflect a steady trend during this decade.