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McClatchy voluntarily recognizes Kansas City News Guild

The McClatchy Co. on Wednesday notified journalists at the award-winning newspaper The Kansas City Star that it will voluntarily recognize the Kansas City News Guild, a union that will give accountability, mission-driven journalists a voice in their own workplace.

In a brief newsroom meeting held on a video conference call, Mike Fannin, president and editor of The Star and Central Region editor for McClatchy, made the announcement to newsroom employees.

"We have a long history of working collaboratively in this newsroom to support strong local journalism," Fannin is quoted in a story posted to The Star's website shortly after the announcement.

"Our shared efforts have resulted in vital work that has made the communities we serve better and more accountable," he said. "We prize the work of all our colleagues, an today, we are recognizing the Kansas City News Guild. Together, we can move forward with the mission of elevating our staff, our strategies and our journalism."

Members of the union's organizing committee asked local management several weeks ago for volountary recognition after an overwhelming majority of eligible staffers signed cards signaling their desire to be represented by the Kansas City News Guild.

Those signatures came from every corner of the enws operation -- from sports and news reporters to photographers and other visual journalists -- and included both long-time and recently hired employees.

The union organizing committee was prepared to file those cards with the National Labor Reloations Board to conduct an election. McClatcy's decision to voluntarily recognize the Kansas City news Guilds means an election is no longer necessary and will allow the union to set to work building a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the company.

The Kansas City news Guild will represent more than 40 journalists, who strive to keep their community informed and hold government, business and other institutions accountable. The union will make the paper better for readers by fighting for a safe, diverse and vibrant newsroom that will be here for years to come.

The Star journalists worked to form the unioin to give them a voice in the future of the company and to fight for fair wages and benefits, a newsroom that fosters and encourages professional growth, and one whose makeup is diverse and reflects the community they serve.

The group will become a unit of The NewsGuild-CWA, the nation's lares union for journalists and other news industry employees.

The NewsGuild-CWA represents more than 24,000 journalists and other communications professionals in the United States and Canada at publications and digital sites that include The Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and the Indianapolis Star. Formerly known as The Newspaper Guild, the union was founded by journalists in 1933. The Guild merged with the 600,000-member Communications  Workers of America in 1995.