The Casper Star-Tribune newsroom overwhelmingly voted in favor of forming a union Tuesday, the first time Wyoming’s statewide paper has unionized in its 127-year history.

"We at the Casper News Guild are pleased with the result of this vote," according to a news release from the guild.

"As we have said from the beginning, our goal is to protect and strengthen the future of the Star-Tribune, as well as Casper and Wyoming’s news, for many years to come," the news release said.

When the Casper News Guild announced its intention to organize earlier this month, it said negotiating a collective agreement for the news staff will allow it to create more stable reporting jobs in Wyoming, attract more experienced journalists, and motivate them to stay longer.

A collective agreement will also allow the staff to have a voice in the event of future layoffs or cost-cutting measures. Finally, an agreement will enable the staff to speak directly to readers so that any business decisions by Lee Enterprises that hurt Wyoming will not go unnoticed.

During the time leading to the vote, the Casper News Guild said communication between management and employees was open and respectful, the news release said. "We look forward to furthering that cordial relationship in the months to come as we bargain with the Star-Tribune’s corporate owner, Lee Enterprises, to reach a collective agreement that benefits both the newsroom and the company."
Nine members of the 11-person unit voted in favor of forming the union, which will be the ninth unit of the Denver Newspaper Guild, Communication Workers of America Local 37074.
The Star-Tribune is the first Lee Enterprises property to unionize while owned by the company, according to the Communication Workers of America.