The Longview Daily News must commit to living wages for its journalists

Dear reader,

The staff of The Daily News has been at the bargaining table for eight months with Lee Enterprises, working to secure a first contract that will recognize and reward our journalists for the tiring work they perform every day.

Among our demands is a commitment to equitable living wages that will keep up with the cost of inflation and the housing challenges of the Pacific Northwest. Lee Enterprises, however, continues to deny us any meaningful increase. Its latest proposal includes wages of $16.82 an hour for new journalists or $17.31 an hour for journalists with a master’s degree or five years of experience. These numbers are insultingly low.

We have made several significant concessions already on our initial wage proposal. The company, however, remains unwilling to meaningfully negotiate or explain its refusal to offer better pay. Guild negotiators have repeatedly told management that these wages do not reflect the cost of living in the region. Astrid Garcia, Lee Enterprise’s vice president of human resources and legal, last told us “Rome wasn’t built in a day” with regard to reaching living wages.

We are tired of this dismissive behavior at the bargaining table. Our journalists deserve better. As we await the company’s response to our most recent wage proposal, we’re asking for your help. Write to The Daily News and Lee Enterprises leadership as a part of this campaign to show that you value local journalism and support our fight for good jobs in Cowlitz County.

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