From the Quartz Union: Our Mission Statement
Right now, the world needs a publication like Quartz. As nations threaten to turn inward, our reporting asserts that the world is better when it is open. As technology races forward, we show how it can do so without harming the way humans work, play, and interact. Our multilingual and multinational staff does all of this with a penchant for the creative and the quirky, and a respect for our readers.
That is why we have decided to form a union: to strengthen the things we love about Quartz, and create a clear process for improving it. We are joining the NewsGuild of New York, which represents media stalwarts like The New York Times and Reuters, and younger publications like The Daily Beast and Mashable.
When Quartz launched in 2012, it was a scrappy startup with just a handful of employees. It is now a company of more than 230 people spanning five continents, valued between $75 million and $110 million. We believe it is time for the talented newsroom that delivered this growth to have a seat at the table in discussions about the future of the company’s internal structures and practices.
A central part of Quartz’s identity is our writer-centered newsroom. Even while enjoying creative freedom, our reporters, video producers, deputy editors, and growth editors need clearly defined protections—of salaries, benefits, and employee expectations—as much as workers assembling cars or teaching children. These protections are more necessary now than ever, given the recent histories of both our publication and our industry.
In order to retain the talent that makes our newsroom special—and attract new, diverse talent that will bring our work to the next level—we need to know that Quartz will be a place where we can grow in our careers, following a clear and bold editorial vision. A place where we receive fair pay and annual cost of living raises, and where our newsroom includes a far greater proportion of people of color and people from working class backgrounds. We believe the best method of ensuring that future is by bargaining collectively.
These priorities become even more important in light of Quartz’s sale from Atlantic Media to Uzabase in July 2018. Our new owners at Uzabase are collegial, seem committed to our core goals, and share our dynamic, global ethos. However, their plans for Quartz’s editorial operation remain unclear, and with layoffs taking place in droves across the industry, our future feels uncertain. As writers who focus on the global economy and are excited by change, we have nothing but optimism about our relationship with Uzabase. We also understand that the purchase of one company by another can lead to cultural and structural changes.
In short, we believe a union is the best way to make sure Quartz remains Quartz-y. We hope that the leadership recognizes this and, in turn, our union. Only then can we begin the process of finding a contract befitting the quality and ambition of our publication.
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