Entertainment MSNBC Staff Votes to Unionize With Writers Guild East

03:45  25 august  2021
03:45  25 august  2021 Source:   hollywoodreporter.com

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The WGA East is a labor union representing those who write & create content for motion pictures, television, news Unionized Companies. Women of Color Caucus. July 26, 2021 Some writers and studios have asked the Guilds East and West for guidance about health Tina Fey, Michael Schur, Amber Ruffin and Adam McKay Join Nearly 1,600 WGA Members Urging MSNBC Staff to “ Vote YES!”

“ MSNBC needs to follow its own progressive principles and honor the decision made by its editorial employees to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East ,” Peterson said. “These are smart, engaged people who came to their decision after months of informed conversations, and a super-majority declared their support publicly by signing a petition. We urge management to correct its course and recognize the union voluntarily, promptly.” The jobs that the WGA East hopes to cover at MSNBC include news writers as well as talent bookers, fact checkers as well as booking producers and

It’s official: The MSNBC newsroom has voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East.

According to a National Labor Relations Board tally, 141 editorial staffers voted to have the union represent their unit in collective bargaining and 58 voted against it. The NLRB counted the votes on Tuesday after MSNBC chose not to voluntarily recognize the union in June.

Composed of 300 members, the covered group includes writers, producers, booking producers, fact-checkers and planners on MSNBC programs and Peacock’s The Choice. When the bargaining unit announced their unionization campaign in June, they said in a statement that they wanted to join the Guild to promote greater diversity in the newsroom, fair pay and strong benefits, career development opportunities and “because we want to make sure workers have a say in what a post-COVID-19 workplace looks like.”

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Digital and print staff at Hearst Magazines have voted “overwhelmingly” to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East , the guild announced on Wednesday. The bargaining until will now represent over 500 staff members across 28 of Hearst’s magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Food Network According to a news release from the guild , Hearst’s management “refused to recognize the union voluntarily and waged a protracted legal battle at the NLRB in an attempt to delay the election and divide the bargaining unit into six separate groups.” It was eventually dismissed in June by the NLRB

The editorial staff at digital news site Slate plans to unionize with the Writers Guild of America East and is asking management to voluntarily recognize that the WGA will become its bargaining representative. More than 90% of Slate’s staffers have signed cards declaring that the WGA will serve as their representative in collective “Slate’s editorial staff joins a labor movement that has proven to be the most effective way for creative professionals to have a seat at the table and build sustainable careers in the billion-dollar digital media industry,” said WGA East Executive Director Lowell Peterson.

“Victory! This victory is the first of its kind in cable news and we are so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together,” the MSNBC Organizing Committee said in a statement. “A big thank you to our fellow union members in the Writers Guild, across media, and the entire labor movement. We are also deeply appreciative of our MSNBC coworkers, hosts, regular contributors, and the elected officials who supported us along the way. We now look forward to constructive, good faith negotiations with MSNBC management to make this an even better place to work — with input from all of us. This is who we are.”

In a memo sent to the network on Tuesday about the vote, MSNBC president Rashida Jones said she was grateful to have held the election, “which gave everyone affected by this process the opportunity to have their voice heard.” She added, “I know there were people who were supportive of the union efforts, and others who did not want to be represented by the union. As we all move forward, we’re committed to working together as one unified organization where we’ll continue to respect, support and collaborate with one another, and foster a culture that makes us all proud.”

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Employees at the online news outlet Fusion have launched an organizing drive to unionize with the Writers Guild of America East — with management vowing to oppose those efforts. The organizing committee announced in an open letter to staff that a majority of the online editorial staff — which numbers about 90 — had signed cards designating the WGA East as their representative in negotiations with Fusion. In response, Fusion executives Boris Gartner and Daniel Eilemberg said they will try to persuade employees not to form a union.

NEW YORK, NY (July 29, 2020) – In a historic union win, Hearst Magazines’ digital and print staff overwhelmingly voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). This election took place via mail ballot and was administered by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers ; and presents writers ’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East , visit

In July, over 1,000 members of the WGA East and West — including director Adam McKay, stars Tina Fey and Amber Ruffin and writers Neil Gaiman and Cord Jefferson — signed a petition in support of the unionization effort. “We work in scripted television and film, including many projects produced by NBC Universal. Through our union membership we have been able to negotiate fair compensation, excellent benefits, and basic fairness at work — all of which are enshrined in our union contract,” the petition read. “We are ready to support you in your effort to do the same. We’re all in this together.”

The MSNBC unit will join a significant number of digital media, cable and broadcast journalists represented by the Guild, which nevertheless represents primarily film and television writers. Companies with WGA East contracts include CBS News, VICE, Vox Media, Hearst Magazines, Gizmodo Media Group, Bustle Digital Group and MTV News, among others. The Guild’s digital news organizing efforts have become a point of contention among candidates for the union’s upcoming Council Election in recent weeks, with one major slate of candidates looking to survey union members on fast growth in the sector and another slate seeking to undo a pause on new organizing in digital newsrooms.

WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson added in his own statement about the results of the vote, “We are so proud that MSNBC’s employees voted strongly in favor of unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East for the purpose of collective bargaining. The organizing campaign at MSNBC took over a year of intense work that saw every sector of our union, from screenwriters to digital news members, join together to deliver a resounding victory.  We look forward to getting to the bargaining table.”

Aug. 24, 5:11 p.m. Updated to include MSNBC president Rashida Jones’ memo.

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