In a press release that went out this morning, Salon staffers say they are united in their desire to join the Writers Guild of America, East—the same union that Gawker now belongs to. Their full announcement is below.
WHY WE’RE ORGANIZING
Salon’s editorial staff is unionizing. Here’s why
We, the editorial staffers at Salon Media, Inc. have decided to organize. Every single one of the editorial employees at Salon supports unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East, and today we’re asking the management of Salon to recognize our union.
We are doing this because we believe in our publication and want it to be successful. We’re especially proud to work for a media organization that has championed progressive values for nearly twenty years. We believe this organizing campaign is a positive and public way for us to put those values into practice, right here at home. In the wake of the Gawker staff’s vote to organize with the WGAE, we see an opportunity to help establish standards and practices in Internet journalism. It’s an exciting moment for our field, and we want Salon to be at the forefront of change.
We also fervently believe that an employee union is in the best interests of Salon, in the short and long term, and will yield benefits of many kinds. It will solidify Salon’s position as a progressive leader, generate tremendous employee goodwill, and transform the workplace environment in positive ways. We suspect that over the long haul it will also be good business. We want Salon to be an even better place to work and a stronger company, and that by organizing, we will strengthen our mission, our vision and our productivity.
As the surprising example set by the management and editorial staff of Gawker has made clear, the process of collective bargaining can commit management, editors and writers to work together in a new way. That’s a critically important first step, and we are here to make it together.
The Salon editorial staff:
Lindsay Abrams, staff writer
Luke Brinker, politics editor
Peter Finocchiaro, deputy editor
Colin Gorenstein, assistant editor
Ruth Henrich, associate managing editor
Sarah Hepola, personal essays editor
Nassir Isaf, community editor
Elias Isquith, staff writer
Scott Eric Kaufman, assistant editor
Erin Keane, culture editor
Jenny Kutner, assistant editor
Simon Maloy, staff writer
Laura Miller, senior writer
Jim Newell, staff writer
Liam O’Donoghue, social media editor
Andrew O’Hehir, senior writer
Joanna Rothkopf, assistant editor
Matt Saccaro, assistant social media editor
Sonia Saraiya, TV critic
Anna Silman, deputy entertainment editor
Jacob Sugarman, cover editor
Sophia Tesfaye, deputy politics editor
Scott Timberg, staff writer
Joan Walsh, editor at large
Benjamin Wheelock, art director
Mary Elizabeth Williams, staff writer
Given this unequivocal support, Salon’s editorial staff and the WGAE asked management to voluntary recognize the Guild as their collective bargaining representative.
“The Writers Guild of America, East is deeply pleased to join with the writers of Salon Media to bargain collectively about their workplace concerns,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “We agree that they can make a real difference in their own lives, and in the standards of digital media generally, by negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with their employer. Our members share their commitment to crafting thoughtful stories, and understand that joining a union of creative professionals is an essential part of building sustainable careers doing meaningful work.”
Whereas Gawker staffers held an election to affirm their desire to unionize, Salon staffers are taking the more common step of announcing support for the union and asking management to simply recognize it. Given Salon’s left-wing political ideology, one presumes that their management would find no reason not to cooperate with the unionization effort.
One more online media union and it’s an official trend story.