Agence France-Presse is considered the oldest news wire service in the world.
A handful of Washington-based AFP employees began organizing a Guild unit in 1987, soon after the Washington bureau expanded operations and opened up a full-service English news desk.
AFP-Washington employees won the right to be represented by The Newspaper Guild in a 1988 election that was supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.
In early 1989, the Guild and AFP management signed their initial contract. That first contract provided employees with a 15 percent salary increase, a childcare allowance, a grievance process, cost of living protection, a tuxedo allowance, and many other important and innovative protections.
Today, about 70 photographers, reporters, desk editors, computer technicians, sales and marketing reps, and accountants are protected by the contract bargained and enforced by the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild.