In just over four years, thousands of media employees have come together to unionize their workplaces and negotiate union contracts. Fundamentally, the demand of any group of workers forming a union is the same – to win a formal seat at the table in order to negotiate over the future of their workplace. Each group decides what to advocate for at the bargaining table as a union.
Though priorities vary from workplace to workplace, the issues tend to revolve around the same categories. Media employees want to address core economic concerns, including: pay equity and transparency, preserving or improving benefits (leave time, 401k, health insurance), regular and fair cost of living increases, working conditions (such as hours), job security, and intellectual property and proper crediting. Creative professionals also negotiate to address workplace “culture” issues, including: diversity and equity, corporate transparency and communication, and editorial policies and independence.
Negotiating a union contract is a core element of any unionized workplace, however, it doesn’t stop there. Organized workplaces have structures for democratic representation and collective decision making processes. That means that unionized companies have a mechanism in place to share information across employees and to take collective action if and when necessary. This includes, for example, regular meetings with management and organizing workplace diversity committees.
Thrillist Union member Anthony Schneck wrote in his own words why he and co-workers came together to organize a union.