The union that represents newsroom employees at The Inquirer voted Tuesday night to approve a three-year contract that requires the equivalent of a 6 percent wage cut.
The vote was 287-38, according to union officers.
The deal with the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia, Local 38010, was negotiated with Philadelphia Media Network, the new owner of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com. The newspapers and the website were purchased at a bankruptcy auction in April.
The guild, affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, represents about 515 reporters, editors, photographers, and designers, as well as some advertising, circulation, and finance employees. The contract takes effect when the new owners take control of the company.
The new company is negotiating contracts with 14 unions in anticipation of an Aug. 31 closing on the sale.
Under the purchase agreement, Philadelphia Media Network can walk away if it does not reach contract agreements by the closing date. The company remains in bankruptcy until the closing.
The guild vote was one of a series of ratification votes scheduled before Aug. 31. Other unions with tentative agreements include those representing pressmen and engravers.
Mechanics Local 447, whose members repair delivery vehicles, voted against a tentative agreement Sunday.
Three Teamsters locals - 628, 169, and 676 - remain without tentative agreements. The largest of the three, Local 628, represents about 452 employees, including drivers, porters, and security guards.
Greg Osberg, chief executive officer of Philadelphia Media Network, said his team was "working 24/7 to finalize negotiations and close the deal by Aug. 31." He said he was confident agreements could be reached with all unions by the deadline.
The new owners are a collection of 16 financial institutions, including Angelo, Gordon & Co., Alden Global Capital, and CIT Group, that bought the company at auction in April for $139 million.
The winning bid was $10 million more than the final offer made by a local group.