New Yorker Union Certified After Historic Campaign
For Immediate Release | July 19, 2018
Media Inquiries: Josh Austin, firstname.lastname@example.org | 484-269-0158
New York, July 19 — Six weeks after announcing their unionization drive, the editorial employees of The New Yorker magazine officially secured NewsGuild representation after a card-check was conducted at Condé Nast offices earlier this morning. Condé Nast voluntarily recognized the union after verifying that the NewsGuild represents a majority of eligible staffers. Over 90% of eligible members signed cards designating the NewsGuild of New York as their bargaining representative.
The 110-member bargaining unit consists of copy editors, fact-checkers, editorial assistants, video producers, social media strategists, web producers, designers, and other editorial staff.
Many of the editorial employees included in the bargaining unit are subcontracted by a third-party staffing company called Global Employment Solutions. Subcontracted employees currently lack health insurance and other benefits while working side-by-side with their colleagues, performing the same work with disparate compensation and working conditions. A previous attempt to organize The New Yorker in the 1970’s was unsuccessful after management waged an aggressive anti-union campaign.
The New Yorker is the first unionized editorial union of Condé Nast, its corporate parent that has instituted layoffs, restructuring, and cost-cutting measures across its publications. Staffers are fighting to preserve the legacy and vitality of the magazine by ensuring job protection, equitable wages, and diversity in the workplace. This historic victory at Condé Nast adds to the organizing momentum in the industry as more media professionals are demanding a seat at the table.
Statement from New Yorker Organizing Committee:
“We are thrilled to announce that the New Yorker Union is officially certified. Today, a neutral third party verified that an overwhelming majority of editorial staffers have elected to join the NewsGuild of New York. Over ninety per cent of eligible staffers signed on to the effort. We are proud that our bargaining unit will also include a significant number of subcontracted employees who are jointly employed by The New Yorker and the staffing agency Global Employment Solutions. Protecting those subcontracted employees, who lack basic benefits like health insurance, was one of our top priorities from the very start of this campaign.
We look forward to beginning the bargaining process for a contract that will insure the longevity of the magazine and create a more equitable workplace for all those who create it. Thank you to all of our readers and peers for your support.”
More information about the New Yorker Union can be found at newyorkerunion.com. The full mission statement of The New Yorker Union is below:
The New Yorker has been a vital force in American journalism for nearly a century. Its deeply reported, clear-eyed, and principled stories have consistently challenged power and exposed injustices and abuses in communities of all kinds. We, the editorial staff of The New Yorker, are very proud of this legacy, and of our place in it. But we believe that the publication must work harder for its employees; the values that run through its pages should be better reflected in the culture of its workplace.
Behind each New Yorker story is a team of editors, fact checkers, designers, producers, and social-media strategists. We bolster and polish the reporting and writing of our authors, and do the granular work of upholding the magazine’s high standards.Yet we lack job security and, for the most part, receive no overtime pay. Salaries often vary significantly among people who hold the same position, and we have seen a steady stream of our colleagues leave for jobs that provide more tenable wages. Some of us have worked for years as subcontracted employees, without health insurance and other basic benefits, though we do the same jobs as the staff members who sit beside us. There is no clear system for tying compensation to performance, no codified method of evaluation, and few opportunities for career development.
To protect our rights as workers and to safeguard the future of our publication, we have chosen to form a union with the NewsGuild of New York, which represents our peers at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, The Nation, and a rapidly growing number of newly unionized publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and The New Republic.
Our decision to unionize comes at a moment when much of what defines The New Yorker—its atmosphere of deliberation and care and its devotion to factual accuracy, careful prose, and expert design—is vulnerable to competing priorities from our corporate parent, Condé Nast. We are determined to do everything we can to protect the health and the integrity of our publication from staff cuts and reorganizations handed down by corporate management without warning or transparency.
We believe that the ability to collectively bargain is the best way to secure a fairer workplace and to insure that the people who produce The New Yorker can continue to do so far into the future. We are asking Condé Nast to recognize our union, and we look forward to beginning an amicable collective-bargaining process.
About the NewsGuild of New York
The NewsGuild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America is a labor union representing nearly 3,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.
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