Lee Enterprises newspaper in Wyoming votes to unionize

The United Media Guild salutes employees of the Casper Star-Tribune for seeking representation from the NewsGuild.

The Star-Tribune has absorbed staff cut after staff cut ordered by its parent company, Lee Enterprises. Journalists realized they needed to gain a strong voice in their newsroom.

“We appreciate some of the benefits of being part of a large media corporation,” the organizing committee stated after filing for an election with the National Labor Relations board. “However, Lee Enterprises’ obligations to its shareholders often clash with the interests of our readers in Casper and Wyoming, who rely on the Star-Tribune for vital news and information.

“Organizing the newsroom is our way – as journalists dedicated to the communities we cover – to strengthen the local control over Wyoming’s largest media organization.

“Negotiating a collective agreement for the Star-Tribune’s newsgathering staff will allow us to create more stable reporting jobs in Wyoming, attract more experienced journalists and incentivize them to stay longer. It will also allow us to have a voice in the event of future layoffs or cost-cutting measures. Finally, it will enable us to speak directly to our readers so that any business decisions by Lee Enterprises that hurt Wyoming will not go unnoticed.”

The UMG can appreciate Casper’s concerns. We represent employees at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the largest newspaper owned by the Davenport, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises.