By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The union that represents reporters and editors at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and have approved a new contract with the publications’ owners, which includes across-the-board wage cuts.

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The Newspaper Guild was the last of the company’s 11 unions to approve a new deal, which the company said it required to remain viable.

Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia ratified the contract on Thursday night with a vote of 200 to 35.

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“I think my members were able to breathe a sign of relief after the votes were counted,” said union executive director Bill Ross today.  He says union members took a leap of faith in accepting the two-year deal, which includes layoff protections for the first year and a guarantee that the Daily News and Inquirer will stay in print for the entire term.

“We took a wage cut of 2.5 percent, we also took other concessions to keep the newspapers from being liquidated, as was the threat,” Ross told KYW Newsradio.

Ross says IGM, the papers’ owner, issued a statement to members on Thursday saying the successful end of the negotiations will “stabalize the company and create a platform for future growth.”

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