Journalists at Bozeman Daily Chronicle move to unionize

In a bid for better working conditions and a stronger newspaper, the news staff of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle requested on Monday that its employer, Adams Publishing Group, voluntarily recognize the Yellowstone News Guild.

“For too long, Chronicle staff have struggled to afford to live in the very community they cover, largely due to a pay structure that does not come close to providing a living wage for Bozeman,” workers said in a press statement.

Furloughs that were presented as temporary now turned into reductions in work hours lasting for almost two years, with no end in sight, workers said. In the meantime, the cost of living in Bozeman has skyrocketed.

“It is time for Adams Publishing to do better by its employees,” staffers said.

“Building a sustainable career in our newsroom is out of reach for many staffers,” members of the organizing committee said in a letter to management on Monday.

“We’ve chosen to unionize to advocate for our newsroom, to secure equitable raises that are in line with professional jobs in Bozeman and fight for a future for our reporters and photographers who live and love Bozeman.”

The Guild will represent the nine photographers and reporters on staff and will be a unit of the Denver Newspaper Guild Local 3707, which also represents the Montana News Guild and the Cheyenne News Guild which covers the Chronicle’s sister paper, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. The Chronicle will be the second unionized newsroom in Montana. Staff at the Billings Gazette formed the Montana News Guild in 2020.

The Yellowstone News Guild will be the second Adams Publishing paper to unionize in the Mountain West following the formation of the Cheyenne News Guild in 2020, which is still negotiating its first contract with Adams Publishing.

“We believe that forming a union is in the best interest of both Adams Publishing, its employees and our readers,” organizers said.

“We believe it is time for Adams Publishing to sit down with its journalists to collectively chart a new path forward for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that will ensure its continued success.”

Follow the Yellowstone News Guild on Twitter @ynewsguild.