Billings Gazette Employees Vote to Unionize Newsroom

Lee Enterprises' largest Montana paper is latest to form union

By Associated Press

BILLINGS — Reporters, copy editors and photographers at the Billings Gazette newspaper in Montana have voted to unionize the newsroom.

The Gazette reported that 18 of the 20 eligible staff members voted by mail over a three-week period and all the votes tallied Thursday were in favor of unionizing.

The newspaper is now affiliated with the Denver News Guild.

“Obviously we’re pleased that the vote was supported unanimously,” reporter Brett French said. “We understand this isn’t a cure to all our ills, but we see it as a way to stand up for things that are important in community journalism.”

Negotiations on the labor contract have not yet been scheduled.

“We certainly plan on following the law and bargaining in good faith with the union’s representatives in order to reach a contract that is fair and equitable to all parties,” Gazette President Dave Worstell said.

He added: “I’m confident that this decision will not slow down our entire organization’s commitment to producing the quality journalism and content that the readers of The Billings Gazette know and expect.”

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