Jacobin NewsGuild Members Ratify First Union Contract for the Publication


For Immediate Release:
January 24, 2018

For Media Inquires:
Josh Austin, josh@nyguild.org | 484-269-0158

New York, NY — Union members at Jacobin, a Brooklyn-based print and online magazine that offers socialist perspectives on politics and culture, overwhelmingly ratified their new agreement between the company and The NewsGuild of New York, the local union that represents nearly 3,000 media professionals working in the New York City metro area. The contract is in effect until December 15, 2021.

The Guild and Jacobin management have been at the negotiating table since January 2017 after management voluntarily recognized the union in October 2016 after 100 percent of its editorial employees signed cards seeking NewsGuild representation.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that our members at Jacobin have ratified their first union contract,” said Grant Glickson, President of the NewsGuild of New York. “Not only do these employees understand the value of a union in the workplace, but now they’re able to work at a publication that truly puts its ideologies into practice. Congrats to our members, as this is another important win for the industry and the labor movement.”

The new three-year agreement provides Jacobin Guild members, who reside in cities across the country, with a 2% guaranteed wage increase in each year of the contract as well as a 2% signing bonus. Additionally, the company now offers paid holidays to all of its staff.

For the first time, members have the opportunity to opt-into a fully covered medical insurance plan offered by the United Furniture Workers, which has also be extended to part-time employees and management. Another first, the company now matches up to 2% into a retirement fund for Guild members, which has also been extended to part-time employees.

The union negotiated and improved time off for all employees. Now, Jacobin staffers can take up to three months of parental leave and will see an increase in vacation days as well as have the opportunity to take a month, or two months (on a part time schedule), for book leave.

“Unions are just the word we use to describe the power that comes from workers acting collectively, and that power is multiplied way beyond what our small shop could achieve because we’re connected to all the other publications represented by the News Guild,” said Jacobin Guild member Alex Press. “I hope the existence of our union at Jacobin serves to rebuke any boss elsewhere who claims his or her publication can't afford a union.”

"Despite Jacobin's small size and nonprofit status, having a union is perfectly compatible with us maintaining a productive, sustainable operation,” Bhaskar Sunkara, publisher of Jacobin. “Bourgeois outlets have no excuse dragging their feet in recognizing their staff unions."

The Guild’s local representative Bettina Damiani served as the union’s lead negotiator alongside Jacobin’s bargaining committee.



About the NewsGuild of New York

The NewsGuild of New York is the union for news professionals in America’s media capital. We are the workplace advocate for people in the media business, including some of the best journalists in the country. The national NewsGuild is the largest union for news professionals — and we are its biggest local, fearlessly representing nearly 3,000 journalists and other media employees at New York-based media organizations and their respective bureaus. We understand journalism, from print to digital to broadcast.

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