NewsGuild of New York to Host In-Person May Day Rally for Media Workers on 5/1; Will Picket Condé Nast and Call Out The New York Times
New York, NY—NewsGuild of New York members will stand together in-person this May Day on May 1, 2021, starting at 10:30 a.m. at North Oculus Plaza to spotlight the current fights media workers are facing. Guild members will picket outside Condé Nast headquarters to protest the company’s continued bad faith bargaining. Picketers are also calling out New York Times’ Publisher AG Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit-Levien’s decision to launch an anti-union campaign as part of their refusal to voluntarily recognize the Times Tech Guild, which has secured a strong majority of votes for a union. The rally starts at 10:30 a.m. ET with speakers beginning at 11 a.m., with the picket starting at 12 noon. Masks are required, and taking a rapid test is strongly recommended. The Guild will have additional masks, sanitizer, and gloves on hand.
“Make no mistake: media bosses are feeling the impact of growing worker power,” said Susan DeCarava, President of the NewsGuild of New York. “Our members are building democracy in the workplace to counter the power imbalance that exists between workers and bosses. Democracy is the ability to have a real say in decisions about workplace norms, culture, compensation and policies. This May Day we stand together, stronger than ever, as a union and as an industry to demand worker’s voices are heard and our contributions fairly compensated.”
Recently, the unionized workers at The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and Ars Technica voted and overwhelmingly approved—with 98% support—a strike in each of their respective units should contract talks break down further with the brands and their parent company, Condé Nast. This historic authorization vote, with more than 93% of Guild-represented workers at Condé participating, comes after years of slow and contentious negotiations for first contracts at each of the publications. The workers at The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and Ars Technica are unwavering in their commitment to bringing transparency, equity, and accountability to their workplaces and to Condé Nast at large.
The Guild’s parent union, the Communications Workers of America, which represents over 700,000 members across the country, is unanimous in its support of the strike vote and has pledged its full support.
“Over the past two and a half years of negotiations, as Condé Nast has made every effort to retain unilateral control and resist real structural change in the workplace, all of our union’s progress has come through direct action,” said Hannah Aizenman, The New Yorker’s poetry coordinator and secretary of the New Yorker Union. “The New Yorker Union has waited more than long enough for a strong, fair contract, and we’re ready to do whatever it takes to achieve our demands—if the company refuses to acknowledge the workers’ value, they will learn exactly what our labor is worth when we strike. This May Day, we and our fellow NewsGuild members are taking a stand together in order to remedy decades of underpayment and exploitation, and to raise standards and build collective power at Condé, in the media industry, and for workers everywhere.”
At the Times, company management denied voluntary recognition to the Times Tech Guild. This decision was a disappointing reversal from the Times’ past practices and positions on voluntary recognition—the company recognized the Wirecutter Union in 2019, and its own editorial board has called for majority signup to be legally binding on employers. The Times is instead aligning itself with companies like Amazon, which has successfully manipulated labor law to undermine democracy in the workplace. The Guild calls on the New York Times to recognize the Times Tech Guild immediately.
"The union members of the Times Tech Guild stand in solidarity with our fellow workers at Condé—and across the Guild—as our colleagues fight for a fair contract,” said Goran Svorcan-Merola, Senior Software Engineer at The New York Times. “Their fight is our fight. We, too, have been disappointed in management’s response to our effort, but ours is the exact kind of direct action that creates lasting change and demonstrates that we are serious about empowering workers in our workplace.”
May Day Rally for Media Workers & Condé Nast Picket
The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and Ars Technica Unions have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, and the clock is ticking! Stand with NewsGuild of New York members as we demand that Condé Nast and bosses throughout the media industry negotiate in good faith and treat workers fairly. Masks and social distancing are required.
When: Saturday, May 1st, 10:30 A.M. ET (Speakers will start at 11 A.M.; picket will start at noon.)
Where: North Oculus Plaza, on the corner of Fulton and Church Streets, near One World Trade Center. (Speakers will also be live-streamed on Twitter at @newyorkerunion.)
Who: Members and supporters of the NewsGuild of New York and the local labor community, led by unionized workers at Condé Nast. Interviews available with members and speakers.
- Yuh-Line Niou, State Assemblymember
- Jessica Ramos, State Senator (Labor Committee Chair)
- Charles Kahn, Strong Economy For All Coalition
- Jon Schleuss, NewsGuild-CWA President
- Susan DeCarava, NewsGuild of New York President
- Hae-Lin Choi, NYS Legislative & Political Director, CWA
- Guild members from Condé Nast and the New York Times
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 4,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, TIME, PEOPLE, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. The NewsGuild of New York advocates for journalists to have a voice in the newsroom, for press freedom, for inclusive and diverse workplaces, and for just cause, no exceptions, for all media professionals.
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