Last week’s button day and union Thanksgiving were a big success. Tons of us gathered—from New York and Pennsylvania to Michigan and on FaceTime—across the country to show support and spend time as a unit. We’re looking forward to continuing to develop community and solidarity across brands and geography, especially as we move into the holidays.
We have an edited version of last week’s general meeting available for viewing, and you can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/375817996. For those of you who couldn’t make it to our general meeting or stream it live, please check this out. It was a great night with a welcome from representatives of the Hearst Union organizing committee followed by discussion with Guild members from Fast Company, Vox Media, and Thrillist about their experiences organizing their unions and bargaining their first contracts.
It has been our sincere hope and expectation that management would work with us to recognize our union by having a neutral arbitrator verify that a majority of us have signed cards. This is standard practice in media, everywhere from Condé Nast to CBS. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t even responded to our repeated attempts to contact them about our union. So, we are going to move forward with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) process.
We are disappointed that Hearst executives are forcing a third party institution to become involved in a re-vote, but we also know that a strong majority of us want a union and by staying united and positive, we’re going to get to the bargaining table to have a formal say in how we’re paid and treated at work.
Once we file with the NLRB, which is a governmental agency, it will trigger a process that will culminate in a secret ballot election administered by the agency. The NLRB will help management and our union determine the composition of the bargaining unit. There are also specific NLRB mandated timelines around scheduling an election, and those timelines should result in a vote in early January.
Additionally, we’ve seen a ton of support from WGAE members in writers rooms including Desus & Mero, The Daily Show, and Samantha Bee. As long-standing union members, they understand what we can accomplish through organizing and are behind us 100 percent. We appreciate their support!
Enjoy the holiday week! Remember you can reach out to your committee member or WGAE rep with questions at any time.