MEDIA

Hearst Magazines Staffers Vote To Unionize

Employees of 24 publications, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Men's Health, will join Writers Guild of America, East.

Employees at Hearst Magazines have voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East.

A “strong majority” of editorial, video, design, photo, and social media staff at the publisher’s 24 online and print publications signed cards to form a union, WGAE said Monday in a statement.

With a bargaining unit of 500 employees, the Hearst Magazines Media Unit will be one of the biggest labor unions in media. Hearst’s well known stable of brands includes Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, The Oprah Magazine and Popular Mechanics. 

Union reps told The Daily Beast that more than a year’s worth of organizing led to the vote.

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) congratulated the workers via Twitter, casting the act as a courageous and necessary stand against corporate greed:

“Hearst is one of the largest editorial employers in the industry, and media’s rapidly changing landscape means it’s more important than ever for us to have a say in the conditions of our employment,” The Hearst organizing committee wrote in a letter.

“We care deeply about the work we do at Hearst and its reputation within the media industry, and we believe we deserve a seat at the table and a say in how we are compensated and treated in the workplace.”

The letter highlighted diversity, transparency, compensation, and editorial standards as particular points of emphasis.

WGAE represents numerous other digital and print outlets, including HuffPost.

“The staff at Hearst has demonstrated today that there is always power in a union,” Lowell Peterson, the union’s executive director, said in a statement. “Hearst’s union drive comes as the media industry continues to consolidate, as companies become platform-agnostic and offer content on paper, over the airwaves, and online.”

Peterson added: “Unionizing, winning recognition, bargaining contracts, this is how people who craft content ensure that their voices are heard and their workplace needs are met.”

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