The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) warmly welcomes the agreement - which took a year to negotiate - as a very important union win and a significant improvement of the LA Times workers' rights.
The Los Angeles Times, a media historically known for its strong anti-union positions, announced on Wednesday 16 October the agreement with Los Angeles Times Guild (part of the Communications Workers of America, an IFJ affiliate) and which represents about 475 members of the newsroom.
The union secured several advantages for all workers. According to the contract summary, the agreement includes an immediate 12,5% increase to overall payroll, with an average raise of more than 11000$, and a raise of at least 5% for this year and at least 2,5% in the next two years. They also achieved new job protections, seniority rights, and limits on the company’s ability to outsource work.
The union celebrated that the agreement will cover almost all the non-management newsroom employees, including reporters, columnists, data journalists, copy editors, librarians, web producers, audio producers, page designers, photographers and videographers.
In addition to the pay increases, the agreement includes the media's management commitment to interview people from minorities or underrepresented groups to increase newsroom diversity.
In recent years, and as the IFJ World Day for Decent Work research showed, several unions around the world have achieved labour rights protections for media workers. Most of the agreements secured pay increases, commitments to increase equality and diversity in newsrooms, protections for freelance workers and improved labour conditions for the youngest professionals, among others.
Co-chair of the Los Angeles Times Guild, Carolina Miranda, said: "We're really proud of what we've achieved together. It’s a difficult time in the industry, but we’ve landed significant pay increases and a broad safety net of job protections that are some of the best in the industry. We’re grateful that Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is actively reinvesting in The Times. This is a win for journalism and a win for L.A."
IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We congratulate the Los Angeles Times Guild for this historical collective agreement that represents a huge win for its workers. In a moment where media workers' rights are under threat, we believe that this victory will inspire other media workers to unionise and fight for their rights together.”