Everett Herald journalists vote overwhelmingly to unionize

Once results are certified, newsroom employees and company leadership can begin talks on an initial contract.

Everett

EVERETT — Newsroom employees at The Daily Herald voted Thursday to form a union to bargain collectively on wages, benefits and working conditions at the 121-year-old newspaper.

The final tally, 19-0, was announced by a National Labor Relations Board official. Of 23 eligible employees, two did not participate. Ballots cast by two employees departing the newspaper this month were challenged by the company and not counted.

“This is a big step forward for creating sustainable jobs and journalism for our current and future staff members — and for Snohomish County,” education reporter Mallory Gruben said in a news release. “We look forward to bargaining in good faith for a contract that properly recognizes the valuable work we do for our community.”

Eligible reporters, editors, photographers, page designers and web producers declared their intent to unionize in July. Sound Publishing Inc., owner of The Herald, declined to voluntarily recognize the Everett NewsGuild as their union, precipitating the election.

Union representatives said they currently have a bargaining unit of 23 people in non-managerial positions.

“Sound Publishing respects our employees right to vote,” Herald Publisher Rudi Alcott said. “The results of this count are that these employees decided to unionize. We will have further comments once the union is officially certified in about a week.”

The Everett NewsGuild will be represented by The NewsGuild, a sector of the Communications Workers of America. The NewsGuild is the largest union of journalists and media workers in North America.

The Herald began publishing in 1901. Sound Publishing acquired the newspaper in 2013.

Sound, which was founded in 1987, produces print and digital products in Washington, Alaska and Canada. They include community weeklies, daily newspapers (including The Daily Herald) and bi-weeklies in Snohomish, Island, San Juan, King, Kitsap, Grays Harbor and Okanogan counties.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dospueblos.

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