New York Times Company Publication Wirecutter Unionizes with The NewsGuild of New York
For Immediate Release: April 2, 2019
Contact: Josh Austin, firstname.lastname@example.org | (484) 269-0158
Nearly 90% of editorial employees at Wirecutter, a product review and recommendation site, announced today that they have unionized with the NewsGuild of New York. The staff presented their request for voluntary recognition of their union Tuesday morning to Editor-in-Chief Ben Frumin and President and General Manager David Perpich.
In a mission statement presented to management, Wirecutter staff cited a desire to strengthen and expand in existing benefits and a desire to improve such issues as editorial independence, pay equity, diversity and job security through collective bargaining.
The NewsGuild of New York has represented the staff of The New York Times since 1941, a bargaining unit that currently encompasses nearly 1,200 members working across editorial, sales, marketing and security staff.
After acquiring Wirecutter in 2016, Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times Company said, “We’re very excited about this acquisition on two fronts. It’s an impressively run business with a very attractive revenue model and its success is built on the foundation of great, rigorously reported service journalism.” The Company’s significant digital revenue growth in 2018 was largely driven by Wirecutter’s affiliate referral strategy.
“I’ve always been proud to work for Wirecutter, largely because of the amazing people who work so hard to make it a special place,” said Nick Guy, Senior Staff Writer. “Now, as a unionized editorial staff, I’m excited for us to secure the things that make Wirecutter great and find solutions where necessary so that we can continue to be the best place to work.”
“This unionization effort brought together those of us in the New York and LA offices with those working across the country to talk openly about issues affecting all of us,” said Erin Price, Community Lead. “I'm proud of my colleagues for organizing to ensure that we have a seat at the table at a publication that means so much to us, and I'm thrilled to stand with my union colleagues at The Times and across the industry.”
“Today the editorial employees of Wirecutter joined their unionized colleagues across the industry,” said Grant Glickson, President of the NewsGuild of New York. “We're fortunate that we have a long and productive relationship with New York Times management. We look forward to swift recognition and to get to the table with our members as soon as possible.”
Find more information at wirecutterunion.com.
The full mission statement of the Wirecutter staff is below:
“Wirecutter makes the best product recommendations through vigorous research, reporting, and testing. After more than a year of applying that same journalistic rigor to investigating and considering all our options, we are certain that unionizing is the best choice for Wirecutter’s editorial staff.
We join our colleagues at The New York Times (our parent company), New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Thomson Reuters, and many other outstanding journalistic enterprises in joining the NewsGuild of New York. And we join the tradition of labor movements worldwide in uniting to protect our work’s integrity, our families’ security, and the trust of the readers we serve.
From our founding in 2011, Wirecutter has been a rarity: a digital-journalistic enterprise funded not by speculative investors or fleeting click-shares, but by the value of our work to our readers. Our writers and editors, our fact-checkers, our deals team, our photographers and videographers, our production team, and our social media team quite literally built this company. And we did so by adhering to a simple maxim: Our best asset is our honesty.
Wirecutter has also fostered a work environment that put the mental and physical well-being of its employees and their families above profit, notoriety, or immediacy. We love Wirecutter because it merged these twin pillars—editorial integrity and a compassionate workplace—into a successful business that served us and our readers equally well.
We’re organizing to protect the things that have always made Wirecutter great: Our commitment to rigorous journalistic ethics and editorial independence in deciding what topics we cover, what picks we make, and what deals we share; our commitment to allowing our geographically and culturally diverse staff to work from (almost) anywhere; and our company-wide commitment to work-life balance.
We’re also organizing to solve issues getting in the way of us doing our best work for our readers. We seek transparent communication from leadership about strategy shifts and layoffs, and a seat at the table when these matters are under discussion. We seek to correct disparities in pay and to set clear, consistent overtime expectations and disciplinary procedures. We seek an official policy to protect the mutually-beneficial remote work culture Wirecutter was founded on.
We also seek to protect our benefits where they are strong, and improve them where they could be stronger with more affordable and comprehensive health insurance, increased parental leave, and vacation rollovers and payouts. We seek more opportunities for career development, and more resources for diversity training—we can’t make the best recommendations for most people if our staff doesn’t represent all people.
We recognize that editorial doesn’t stand alone in making Wirecutter great, and we will actively support our other colleagues at Wirecutter if they choose to unionize.
We built this company by demanding the best instead of accepting the good. That’s why our readers trust us. That’s why The Times bought us. And in unionizing, we look forward to working with management in our shared commitment to make Wirecutter the best place to work.”
About the NewsGuild of New York
The NewsGuild of New York, 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, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, and The Daily Beast.
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