With union favorability on the rise, journalists and other members of the media are organizing at a record pace. The low pay and poor treatment of news workers is causing them to seek representation in hopes of better working conditions.
With the high volume of ongoing organizing, AWF Union Podcast welcomed NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss to the show to discuss their ongoing efforts throughout the country, especially in New York City.
Organizing the news industry in 2021
This year, Schleuss said NewsGuild has organized 500 workers and they are not done, as there are about 1,600 active public campaigns underway. Some of the active campaigns are high profile, including one with the New York Times tech works and at Insider Magazine.
With hedge funds and corporations purchasing up local and regional newspapers, workers are realizing their jobs could go away soon. Schleuss said this is one of the main causes for organizing campaigns.
Winning on the east coast
Schleuss discussed how the union just won an election at the New York Daily News. Their workers overwhelmingly voted to form a union and will have their first contract shortly.
In nearby New Jersey, Schleuss said the employees of the Bergen Record are working to form a union. The union vote is being counted today and the union could soon be recognized.
On the other hand, NewsGuild members and employees at the New Yorker have voted to strike. They organized back in 2018 and have gotten employees of Ars Technica and Pitchfork Media to join their strike. Schleuss said it will be the first NewsGuild strike in more than 15 years.