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Some Baltimore Sun Media Group journalists seek to form union

Journalists at Baltimore Sun Media Group community newspapers, including the Capital Gazette and Carroll County Times, have moved to form a union and asked parent company Tribune Publishing to voluntarily recognize the unit.

The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, which represents the Chesapeake Newspaper Guild, delivered its request Wednesday.

“Local journalism is unique. We are your neighbors, the eyes and ears of your communities … ” the Chesapeake Newspaper Guild wrote in the letter. “But that important work grows more difficult each day because of decisions made by distant corporate owners on behalf of shareholders. Decisions that have led to smaller newsrooms, stagnant wages and limited resources.”

Baltimore Sun Media Group acknowledged receiving the request and said it planned to respond next week.

About 50 photographers, reporters, designers and copy editors are eligible to be represented by the Chesapeake Newspaper Guild, according to a news release.

Organizers of the union effort said they started work on the drive before the June 28 shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom that resulted in the deaths of Gerald Fischman, Rebecca Smith, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Wendi Winters.

Chicago-based Tribune Publishing owns The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Allentown Morning Call, Virginian-Pilot, Newport News Daily Press, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and other community newspapers.

The Sun, the Tribune and the Virginia newspapers have guild chapters.

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