Tribune Publishing did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Friday.
Union representation for newsroom employees took a hit in the 1990s. Mr. Zuckerman forced journalists to reapply for their old jobs when he bought the struggling Daily News, and Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the rival New York Post, managed to publish daily editions even as the paper’s staff members stood on a picket line. At the same time, journalists started to view themselves as professionals who had little in common with union laborers.
That attitude has shifted in recent years. Writers, editors, fact checkers and editorial assistants at The New Yorker, BuzzFeed News, Slate, Salon and other publications have formed unions, and the same trend has come to Tribune Publishing. Since 2018, newsrooms operated by the company that have gone union include The Chicago Tribune, The Hartford Courant and The Orlando Sentinel.
Newsroom employees at The Arizona Republic, owned by Gannett, and The Miami Herald, owned by Chatham Asset Management, formed unions in 2019. Many newsroom workers have had union representation for generations, including those at The New York Times, under the NewsGuild.
At The Daily News, discussions about rejoining the NewsGuild formally started in April, about a month after staff members started working remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. Last summer, with workers continuing to do their jobs away from the office, Tribune Publishing said it had permanently closed The Daily News’s newsroom in Lower Manhattan.
By year’s end the company had closed newsrooms at many other publications, including The Courant. In addition to the newsroom shutdowns, Tribune Publishing permanently cut pay for employees making more than $67,000 annually and instituted three-week furloughs for those making between $40,000 and $67,000.