Reporters ratify contract at Longview Daily News


Workers at The Daily News (TDN) in Longview unanimously ratified a second contract that provides a starting wage of $19. That’s a $2 increase from the previously negotiated salary floor.

All six workers who were eligible to participate in the ratification vote on Aug. 22 said yes. The agreement expires one year from ratification, or Aug. 22, 2024.

TDN is owned by Lee Enterprises, an Iowa-based news company that operates more than 400 papers across the country. Workers at TDN voted to unionize in May 2021 and signed a one-year first union contract about a year later. They started negotiating their second contract in March 2023, around the time their first agreement expired. Since then, workers in the advertising department joined the union, and the company cut publication to three days a week.

Local government reporter Brennen Kauffman called the wage increase a “much-needed change.” At $17 an hour, Kauffman could just afford his monthly bills, but no money was left over, he said. The pay increase will help him build up his savings. That’s especially helpful considering student loan repayments are set to restart in October, he said.

In addition to wages, the new contract increases the mileage reimbursement rate to 36 cents, up from 31 cents.

“I think everyone got involved in some way, even if it was just writing something in a show of support,” Kauffman said.     


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