Tronc Voluntarily Recognizes Chicago Tribune Guild in Historic Labor Victory

For Immediate Release – May 6, 2018


The organizers of the Chicago Tribune Guild and Tronc on Sunday reached a historic agreement in which the media company has voluntarily recognized the journalists’ union and will shift immediately to bargaining contracts for three units.

Tronc offered voluntary recognition after more than 85 percent of eligible employees at the Chicago Tribune, RedEye, Hoy, The Beacon News, The Courier-News, Naperville Sun, the Daily Southtown and the newly formed Design and Production Studio signed cards signaling support for unionization.

Leaders from the national NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America told organizers of the Chicago Tribune Guild that in their decades of experience, they had never seen a company the size of Tronc grant voluntary recognition. Given the 170-year-old Chicago Tribune’s history of anti-union sentiment, the deal is even more notable.

With voluntary recognition, legal protections for all of the included newsrooms take effect immediately.

The agreement between the Chicago Tribune Guild and Tronc designates three separate bargaining units:

• Chicago Tribune and RedEye

• Hoy, The Beacon News, The Courier-News, Naperville Sun, Daily Southtown

• Design and Production Studio (DPS)

Tronc agreed to bargain jointly with the Chicago Tribune/RedEye and Hoy/suburban units. It will bargain separately with DPS. The Chicago Tribune Guild intends to coordinate all bargaining to achieve fair and equitable contracts for all employees.

In a letter sent to colleagues Sunday evening announcing the agreement (attached), the Guild’s organizing committee described its reasons for unionizing, stating that “in the face of pernicious corporate influence on our industry, we need a better way to advocate for our work, protect the future of our and the next generation’s journalism careers and strengthen our coverage of Chicago.”

The Guild is eager to take its seat at the bargaining table and is pleased that Tronc has recognized the legal rights of its workers and the strength of their desire to unionize. It is a clear victory for journalism and journalists.

Chicago Tribune Guild organizing committee members are available to discuss this agreement upon request. Contact us at through Twitter or email.