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LABOR NEWS UPDATE: NewsGuild of New York Members at The New Yorker ‘Win Just Cause With No’ Exceptions

Published Monday, October 12, 2020 12:00 pm
by NewsGuild News
LABOR NEWS UPDATE: NewsGuild of New York Members at The New Yorker ‘Win Just Cause With No’ Exceptions

(NEW YORK CITY) - After a marathon bargaining session, NewsGuild of New York Members of The New Yorker reached a tentative agreement on Just Cause for the Union’s first contract.

Members achieved true Just Cause without an editorial exception - a loophole that Condé Nast and other media companies have been using in an attempt to undermine a decades-long standard in Unionized newsrooms. 

This victory, which ends a 95-year practice of at-will employment at the magazine, came on the heels of an announced informational picket by the New Yorker Union to demand this essential Labor Standard during the New Yorker Festival.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who were slated to appear at the Festival, vowed not to cross the picket line in a demonstration of solidarity with the New Yorker Union Editorial Workers. 

Just Cause is a vital protection for Media Workers.

Although The New Yorker has now agreed to it, management at other publications - including BuzzFeed News, New York Magazine and Wirecutter - continue to argue for an editorial exception, which leaves Journalists and Media Workers without a fair, transparent standard for due process in their newsrooms.

This exception negates the point of just cause, as it leaves management sole discretion to fire an Employee based on subjective and unclear editorial standards. 

“Since April 2019, our Membership ‘has taken several actions in the name of Just Cause.’  The company met us at the bargaining table to negotiate for what would be (35) hours over three days.  Management ‘finally listened to our Members concerns and took to heart our need for basic job security,’” said Natalie Meade, the Unit Chair at the New Yorker Union. “We would ‘not have gotten here without exerting our power as a Union’ and we’re ‘happy’ that the rest of the Festival can proceed as planned.”

“(This) victory – ‘enshrining just cause, no exceptions’ - is a ‘testament to the strength of solidarity, the bravery of our members, and the power of the Union,’” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “While we still have to negotiate the rest of this contract with The New Yorker, ‘this is a huge step toward that goal.’  ‘We look forward to continuing bargaining for a strong, fair first contract.’” 

The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), is a Labor Union representing nearly 4,000 Media Professionals and other Employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, TIME, People, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. 

The NewsGuild of New York advocates for Press Freedom, inclusive and diverse workplaces and just cause for all Media Professionals. 

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