Houston Landing NewsGuild Announces Victory in Union Campaign

After a swift organizing campaign that resulted in unanimous support from all eligible reporters, photographers and graphic designers, the Houston Landing NewsGuild on Thursday announced that it has received voluntary recognition from the Houston Landing’s management.

Voluntary recognition is a reflection of the strong support among staffers for the protections that come with union membership. The Houston Landing NewsGuild is ready to begin bargaining in good faith for a contract as soon as possible.

“I’m proud of my colleagues for standing up and fighting for a place at the table for staff,” said Eileen Grench, public safety reporter. “Now l’m looking forward to bargaining for a fair, equitable workplace.”

Houston Landing staffers began organizing in January after the sudden firing of the outlet’s editor-in-chief and sole investigative reporter. The organizing effort centered around upholding the newsroom mission in the face of uncertainty and providing all employees with protections against arbitrary termination.

“We are very pleased that company leadership has agreed to voluntarily recognize the Houston Landing NewsGuild,” said Tim Carlin, a civic engagement reporter at the Landing. “Reaching this point was no easy feat, and it is a testament to the weeks of hard work and dedication of every member of our unit as well as our representatives from the Media Guild of the West. We look forward to bargaining for a contract that will better position Landing employees to create impactful journalism for the entire Houston region for the months and years to come.”

At the insistence of management, the unit does not include other non-management employees at the Houston Landing. The Houston Landing News Guild will continue to serve as a voice for good working conditions, free from the threat of arbitrary termination, for all employees.

“Voluntary recognition is a huge win for the Houston Landing NewsGuild,” said Monique Welch, diverse communities reporter. “As one of the founding reporters, I’m accustomed to having a seat at the table. l’m glad to see leadership commit to maintaining one of our foundational values. Many of our journalists moved across the country to work at a unique workplace where they feel empowered, respected and not just seen but heard. This development will hopefully reinforce their decision to develop a prosperous career here.”

The Houston Landing NewsGuild’s successful union drive comes amid several other rapid-fire organizing efforts at Texas publications. In recent months, the Texas Tribune and San Antonio Report have successfully unionized. The Houston Landing NewsGuild stands in solidarity with staffers forming a union at the San Antonio Express News and Austin NewsGuild members fighting for better conditions at the Austin American-Statesman.

“It’s really telling that the Houston Landing is one of four Texas newsrooms that have unionized this year,” said Elena Bruess, environment reporter and union member. “I’m so proud of all my fellow Texas colleagues and can’t wait to see how we all fight for fair contracts.”