NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The combined staff of The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday after their parent company said they will not voluntarily recognize the union.
According to a release from the group, over 83 percent of the two newsrooms signed cards to authorize union representation as the Tidewater Media Guild.
Their Chicago-based parent company, Tronc, told the group in a letter that they did not have information to make a decision on whether they should voluntarily recognize the guild.
The group says they asked Tronc for voluntary recognition in a letter on Tuesday and, since then, they say Tronc did not ask them for any additional information.
Now, the group has to seek authorization as a union through a federally overseen vote.
“We hope Tronc will see a union as a good thing rather than a bad thing, encouraging journalists to stay at our papers and do great journalism,” Daily Press reporter Pete Dujardin said in a press release. “We hope the company sees our overwhelming support and agrees to recognize us without a vote.”
The Tidewater Media Guild organizing committee has said they would cancel the election if Tronc were to voluntarily recognize the union.
Tronc bought the Pilot for $34 million back in May, but the company has owned the Daily Press since 1986. The journalists hoped to “ensure wage equity, fair hiring practices and diversity in the workforce” by unionizing, according to a previous press release.