Journalists of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram announced Oct. 14 they are forming a union.
The Star-Telegram is the second major newsroom to announce plans to unionize in Texas, following the Dallas Morning News, where votes on unionizing will be counted on Oct. 16.
“Star-Telegram journalists are dedicated to Fort Worth and deserve a voice in the decisions that impact our newsroom,” said Luke Ranker, the newspaper’s government reporter of two years, in a news release. “The NewsGuild will help us advocate for ourselves and our community, and ensure a strong legacy into the future.”
The organizers say they asked the McClatchy Company, the Star-Telegram’s parent company, to voluntarily recognize the Fort Worth NewsGuild as a unit of The NewsGuild-CWA.
The union will advocate for regular pay raises, adequate protections against layoffs, parental leave and other benefits, according to the news release.
Recognizing the union voluntarily would allow contract negotiations between McClatchy and newsroom staff to begin. Last month, McClatchy granted immediate recognition to the Packet/Gazette Guild, which represents journalists at the Hilton Head Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette newspapers. Other unionized McClatchy publications include the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald, the Bradenton Herald, the Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee and Fresno Bee and the Idaho Statesman.
The announcement of the union drive at the Star-Telegram follows the finalization of McClatchy’s sale to Chatham Asset Management, a New Jersey- based hedge fund. The sale came six months after McClatchy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.