July 2, 2015

Following editorial workers at Gawker Media, editorial staff at Salon is moving to unionize and bargain a first contract with their employer.

They’ve signed on with the Writers Guild of America, East, the same union that recently won a representation election at Gawker Media and is at the start of a process to try to bargain a contract.

“We are doing this because we believe in our publication and want it to be successful,” workers said in a joint 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.”
David Daley, editor in chief as 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.”

The San Francisco-based staff is much smaller than Gawker Media but 26 editorial staffers signed union cards with the Writers Guild. They and the union have now asked management, Salon Media Group, to voluntarily recognize the union.

If management does not, that would trigger a representation election in which those workers would decide whether to formally cast their lot with the union and then seek to bargain a contract.

The moves at Gawker Media and Salon are notable given the lack of unionization at online media organizations. The bulk of unionization has come at traditional mainstream newspaper and broadcast outlets.

The tech world generally has been adverse to union organizing and thus remains a huge challenge for a declining organized labor movement.

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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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