Journalists of South Bend Tribune unionize, adding momentum to organizing surge

Feb. 5, 2020 – Journalists of the South Bend Tribune voted 23-3 to join the NewsGuild-CWA on Wednesday, adding momentum to the wave of union organizing at Gannett-owned publications and throughout the industry.

The South Bend Tribune is the third Gannett-owned newsroom to win union recognition in less than four months, following the Arizona Republic and Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. It becomes the fourth unionized news outlet in Indiana.

The three new Gannett units join 32 long-established units at what has become the largest chain in the industry, following the company’s merger with GateHouse Media in November.

“In the last several months, it became clear that many in our newsroom sought a voice in the future of the South Bend Tribune,” said Tyler James, a Tribune sports reporter since 2012. “With today’s union vote, the staff made its voice heard. We will continue to work together in negotiating a contract that addresses our concerns.”

Since signing cards and announcing plans to organize three weeks ago, communication between local management and newsroom employees has remained open and respectful. The South Bend NewsGuild looks forward to maintaining the civil working relationship, James said in a press statement.

Newsroom employees who voted in favor of unionizing say they are taking this step to preserve the vital role the Tribune plays in telling the stories of the communities they serve.

“Forming this union has been a long process with careful thought and deliberation from our staff. We know a union won’t fix every problem, but it will give us a voice in our employment where our main goal is informing our community,” said Michael Caterina, Tribune photographer since 2016.

“This union is us, we are the reporters, photographer, designers and editors that bring Michiana the highest quality news we can. This union will give us, the people that live here, a seat at the table when it comes to our employment.”