The Insider Union has reached a tentative agreement with management at the news site Insider, ending the longest strike in digital media history, the union’s bargaining unit announced Wednesday.
“Our strike is over ― we’re going back to work tomorrow!” read a tweet from the account of the unit, which consists of about 250 people.
Staff at Insider, organized through the NewsGuild, have been on strike for 13 days. Negotiations with the site’s management had fallen apart after more than two years of bargaining over increased health care costs, salary minimums and various other workplace conditions.
The three-year deal they reached Wednesday includes a $65,000 salary minimum, immediate raises for most unit members, a layoff moratorium through the end of 2023, a “just cause” requirement for disciplining employees, and a commitment from management to reimburse more than $400,000 in health care costs over the course of the agreement. The tentative contract now goes to the full unit for a vote on ratification.
“The deal we won today shows the power of solidarity,” Dorian Barranco, a member of the Insider Union bargaining committee, said in a statement. “We came together and refused to settle for anything less than what we were worth, and our collective power won a contract that will resonate in newsrooms across the country. It’s never an easy decision to go on strike, but today’s victory proves it was well worth it. We’re excited to get back to work with our new wins in hand.”
Increased health care costs were a major point of tension during bargaining. Last November, the NewsGuild filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Insider with the National Labor Relations Board, which found merit with the complaint in May. The complaint alleged that management had unlawfully changed workers’ health care coverage, resulting in increased costs for unit members.
Up until now, striking staffers have encouraged readers not to cross the digital picket line by visiting Insider or clicking on any of the site’s stories. The non-unionized staffers who remained at work, meanwhile, recycled old stories and published unfinished content.
At one point, Insider’s editor-in-chief, Nicholas Carlson, was captured on film biking around Brooklyn, New York, and ripping down pro-union fliers that called him out with the headline “Have You Seen This Millionaire?”