From the President: Momentum
By Grant Glickson,
Hundreds of media workers were laid off last month. If this were to happen ten years ago, our industry would have been left dumbfounded. I’ve heard several journalists and media professionals both within and outside of our union comment that they’re just waiting their turn. Our members — and editorial workers across the country — are in a constant state of panic. Sure, this isn’t news, but it’s important for us all to not let this become the new normal in our industry. Layoffs are inevitable. But you deserve protection and to leave a company on your terms.
What happened at Vice, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, AOL, Yahoo News and Gannett is devastating. Combined, these news organizations cut their workforce by almost 2,000 media workers. It’s despicable behavior that reflects the company’s views on the industry and on its workers.
Recently, the NewsGuild (our international union), held its sector conference. Fifty-five delegates from 29 locals were in attendance. I along with three elected delegates travelled to Orlando to attend; we were met with a bittersweet mixture of excitement and, again, panic. Some members anticipated getting laid off the following week, while other guests of the conference had just organized their newsrooms.
I’ve said this to you all many times, but seeing all of the organizing happening across our industry, seeing our members hold management accountable, and watching our local secure strong contracts that afford us the opportunity to have a say in our newsrooms continues to renew my confidence that we are not only protecting ourselves, but also our industry.
And all of that starts here at your union. From our Diversity Committee to our LGBTQ+ Caucus, you all are investing yourselves in the local and making it a place where we can talk about issues and collectively present solutions. On January 23 we had a packed house for our Winter Membership Meeting. We were proud to continue our newest tradition of honoring our new members with our Trailblazer Awards, which went to the employees of Ziff Davis (Mashable, PC Mag, AskMen and Geek.com), New York Magazine and Law360, where our members managed to secure one of the finest first contracts in the media industry. Last week, our members at New York Magazine won voluntary recognition, and this comes on the heels of our win at Ziff Davis and The New Yorker before that.
Your efforts, whether you’ve been a member for decades or whether you just organized your shop, are felt deeply across the country. Let’s continue building this momentum.
Share this story