We have a decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)!
After months of waiting, we are thrilled to let you know that the NLRB has directed an election to occur for our union. It will be in accordance with all of our initial proposals when we first filed for an election in November (details are at the bottom of this email). For one thing, we will all be together in the Hearst Union in one bargaining unit. Just to be clear: We still need to vote to ratify our union. We should have specific election details (timeline, method of voting, etc.) within the next few weeks. As we have previously said, it is our position that we should vote via mail ballot to ensure a safe, fair, and timely election.
Many thanks to everyone who gave testimony at the NLRB and helped make our case. This was a group effort, just like all the other things we have achieved over the last year as we have built our union. Now it’s time to take the next steps with the same solidarity we’ve shown one another so far.
This has been a long road, and, obviously, these are unprecedented times. Now more than ever it is clear that we need to have a seat at the table. We formed our union to ensure that we all have a voice and more security at work. And, of course, we are grateful for all the support we’ve received from our siblings in the Writers Guild of America, East, our allies across the media industry, and the larger labor movement.
After we vote YES we will elect a bargaining committee drawn from all 28 of the brands represented by the union, and every single one of us will have a say in critical issues like job security, compensation, corporate transparency, diversity and inclusion, editorial standards, and others when we complete our bargaining surveys. The website we created when we first went public with our organizing effort is a good reminder of why we organized this union in the first place. It also answers a lot of FAQs for those of you with outstanding questions.
We hope you’re all holding up well during this public health crisis. We know it’s really tough not to see one another every day for solidarity, but we also know that we’ve built something strong here! For those of you directly impacted by the crisis, please reach out if there’s anything we can do as a union to help. And, of course, let’s keep doing whatever we can to support the frontline workers bearing the brunt of this pandemic.
Here are the most important updates from the NLRB decision:
Election date and voting method: TBD. The NLRB asked Hearst management and our union to share our preferences for voting method by Friday, 5/15. We will officially submit our request that this be a mail ballot election, and we certainly hope Hearst management will agree that is the only safe, sensible option at this time. The NLRB will issue its decision on dates and method soon thereafter.
“Supervisors”: There were six people whose supervisory status we litigated in the course of the hearing. None of the six were found by the NLRB to be supervisors! For the rest of the folks Hearst claimed are supervisors, you will be able to vote provisionally and your ballots’ inclusion will be decided after the vote. There will be safeguards to ensure that these ballots will be secret just like everyone else’s (two envelopes will be used; the outside envelope will include name and job title, and the inside envelope will be blank).
Hearst’s proposed six units: The NLRB ruled that we should all be in one unit, including PA, MI, AL, all the NYC-based brands, and the hubs!
Hearst International Employees Association (HIEA): People in this “union” will be eligible for our union! The HIEA was not found by the NLRB to bar employees from participating in our vote.
Best Products: Best Products will be included in our union!