August 2, 2015

Management at San Francisco-based Salon Media has agreed to start talks on a first union contract with its workers, it was disclosed Saturday.

“Salon Media has agreed to recognize the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) as the collective bargaining representative of its editorial staff, whose decision to unionize was unanimous,” the union said in a formal statement.

Workers voted last month to join a union. The company could have forced a formal vote overseen by a third party or perhaps otherwise stalled union recognition. It did not, which now triggers the process of attempting to bargain a first contract.

“The men and women who write, edit, and produce stories for have gained a voice on the job, and the intelligence and unity they have brought to the project is an inspiration,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East.

“For twenty years Salon has been a bastion of progressive thought and action, and we are very pleased that Salon management has reaffirmed its commitment to take the high road, to recognize and respect its employees’ right to organize. We look forward to continuing a productive relationship with the company.”

The voted followed one by editorial workers at Gawker Media, which is now in the very early stages of attempting to bargain a first contract.

Salon’s union is the same that recently won the representation election at Gawker. Last week, workers at Guardian US voted to organize via an affiliation with the News Media Guild, part of the Communications Workers of America.

“We are doing this because we believe in our publication and want it to be successful,” Salon workers said in a statement issued with the union. “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.”

Upon the initial vote, David Daley, editor in chief at Salon, said, “Salon has, from its very inception, proudly embraced progressive values and a commitment to our workers and to labor. We look forward to discussing this initiative with the editorial staff and learning more about their objectives and goals. After we are able to have an open conversation, we’ll be able to plot a course forward together.”

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New York City native, graduate of Collegiate School, Amherst College and Roosevelt University. Married to Cornelia Grumman, dad of Blair and Eliot. National columnist, U.S.…
James Warren

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