The editorial, video, design and photo staffs of Hearst Magazines’ 24 brands have unionized with the WGA East. The magazines include Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Good Housekeeping, Popular Mechanics, Car & Driver, The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, Elle, Woman’s Day and many others.
According to the guild, “A strong majority of the 500-member staff has signed union cards.”
“The staff at Hearst has demonstrated today that there is always power in a union,” said WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson. “Hearst’s union drive comes as the media industry continues to consolidate, as companies become platform-agnostic and offer content on paper, over the airwaves, and online. We are proud and pleased to build the movement for collective bargaining for the professional storytellers at Hearst. Unionizing, winning recognition, bargaining contracts, this is how people who craft content ensure that their voices are heard and their workplace needs are met.”
The nearly 6,000-member union has made a major push in recent years to organize digital newsrooms, representing the writers and editors at Salon, Slate, HuffPost, VICE, MTV News, The Dodo, Fast Company, Gizmodo Media Group, Intercept, Onion Inc., Refinery29, Talking Points Memo, ThinkProgress, Thrillist, and Vox Media.
“Hearst is one of the largest editorial employers in the industry, and media’s rapidly changing landscape means it’s more important than ever for us to have a say in the conditions of our employment,” the Hearst Magazines Organizing Committee said in a statement. “Organizing has become common in our industry. In forming a union, we’ll be joining our colleagues across the industry at Vox Media, NY Magazine, Slate and countless others. It has become standard for companies to recognize employee unions through a fair voluntary recognition process – like a card check – including at peer companies like Condé Nast, other magazines like Fast Company, and large legacy news organizations like CBS, and we expect Hearst Magazines to do the same. We hope to achieve the same rights as those employees to collectively bargain for a more equitable workplace, so that we can continue to produce the best content possible, and carry Hearst forward as a standard of integrity, character, honesty, and fairness within the media landscape.”
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