Employees at the newsroom of Gannett-owned The Arizona Republic officially announced in early September that they are taking steps to unionize, the NewsGuild-CWA announced.

In August, Arizona Republic Executive Editor Greg Burton sent an email to staff mentioning what he called “divisive unionization effort” in the newsroom, HuffPost reported.

Before the announcement, “management unleashed a campaign of intimidation and harassment, calling known union supporters into the Human Resources office individually and questioning them about their activities,” the NewsGuild claims.

An HR director took the work phone of Rebekah Sanders, a consumer protection reporter, the Guild says.

The move to unionize comes amid the pending $1.4 billion GateHouse buy of Gannett, which will, if it makes it through, result in the biggest newspaper company in the country, with 260 daily news operations. The companies were already at the #1 and #2 spots.

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