Desert Sun settles strike, reaches first contract agreement

Unionized journalists at The Desert Sun, the Coachella Valley’s daily newspaper, have reached an agreement for a first contract. The tentative agreement comes two days after the 15 NewsGuild-CWA members at the Desert Sun launched a ULP strike — the 25th strike organized by NewsGuild members in 2024 so far — over the company’s refusal to offer consistent raises that reflect the skyrocketing cost of living in the valley, as well as its unwillingness to offer any protections against exorbitant health care cost hikes.

“WE WON!!!! After 3 years of bargaining, walkouts, rallies and two strikes, the Desert Sun Guild has its first contract with the Desert Sun!” wrote Janet Wilson, an environmental reporter at the Desert Sun. “Thank you to our fearless bargaining team and all our supporters. You gave us the fiscal ability and gumption to get this done.”

As a result of the strike, members won immediate, life-changing raises, annual raises for every member, and crucial workplace protections. The contract would also raise the standard for contracts across Gannett, where The NewsGuild-CWA represents about 1,400 workers across 50 bargaining units.