Editorial Workers at the Insider Join the News Guild of New York-CWA
Editorial workers at the Insider, formerly Business Insider, announced in June that they had voted 241-14 to be represented by The News Guild of New York-CWA Local 31003 in a National Labor Relations Board Election.
The bargaining unit includes reporters, web editors, producers, video editors, social media producers, animators, photographers, designers, and copy editors.
In April, the Insider Union announced its intent to unionize after more than 80 percent of the eligible staff signed authorization cards requesting voluntary recognition from management. The company refused to recognize the union, prompting the News Guild to file for an election with the NLRB.
“We have an incredibly strong, dedicated union of journalists at Insider, and we’ve worked hard to reach this day,” said Rebecca Ungarino, a senior reporter at Insider.
The Insider staff is the latest newsroom to unionize, joining dozens of other media outlets across the country where the employees have chosen to organize. ■
Change.org Wins Recognition, Joins CWA Local 9410
The Communications Workers of America’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) added another tech company to its ranks in July. Workers at Change.org, a well-known San Francisco-based petition website company, sought unionization to address issues including wages and benefits, and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
Tom Smith, the union’s organizing director, said “the workers at Change.org are part of a growing movement in the tech sector. Workers want a voice in decisions that their employers are making.”
Erni Poche took a temporary job with Change.org last year. Her position had her searching the internet for grassroots campaigns that had the best chances of going viral and then tapping the company’s resources to boost their reach.
Poche, who has since become a full-time employee at Change.org, became the lead union organizer in part because said she was bothered that she kept getting assigned to online petitions about race. Poche is a Black Latina.
“Hiring BIPOC staff, we are not diversity, equity and inclusion specialists,” she said.
In addition to her frustrations surrounding her job assignments, Poche and her co-workers are paid significantly less than their peers across the industry.
Radha Nath, a product designer at the company said she makes about $16,000 less than she made at her previous employer.
CODE-CWA says it intends to bring wages across the company to the industry standard.
To the company’s credit, Change.org agreed to voluntarily recognize the union if the majority eligible employees signed cards indicating they wanted the union.
“We were committed from the beginning to support a union if a majority of relevant and eligible staff did, and they did,” said Bec Wilson, acting chief operating officer at Change.org.
The union and the company are expected to begin contract negotiations in the Fall. ■
MSNBC Employees Announce Intent to Unionize
In June, employees at 24-hour cable news giant MSNBC announced that they planned to form a union representing about 315 workers including producers, bookers, writers, and fact checkers.
The MSNBC bargaining unit would be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East, which said a clear majority of the network’s employees had signed a letter seeking voluntary recognition of the union. The company responded saying it would not recognize the union effort until a majority of workers vote in a secret ballot election.
Ballots were sent to the 315 eligible employees on July 20, to be returned by August 17.
After the union’s announcement, MSNBC anchors publicly expressed their support for the union, tweeting well wishes for their co-workers.
Joy-Ann Reid wrote, “Proud of my @msnbc fam who are turning organizing into action. Now everyone, do your part and vote!”
Ali Velshi also tweeted, “Congratulations to my colleagues who are following a noble and exciting tradition of a vote that will give voice to workers’ needs and aspirations. We at MSNBC will all be better and stronger for this effort.”
MSNBC hosts Jonathan Capehart, Julian Castro, and Chris Hayes also tweeted messages of support. ■