ThinkProgress Latest Media Company To Unionize

Date: September 28, 2015

Workers Join Writers Guild Of America East

In the latest pro-labor move by workers at a media company, last week staff at news website ThinkProgress announced their plan to join the Writers Guild of America East. In the announcement to ThinkProgress and Center for American Progress management, the workers said they “believe having a union will help us protect and elevate the good conditions we currently enjoy in our workplace, both for ourselves and for all who come after us.” With such a move, they argued, “we continue to create the cutting-edge, high-quality and editorially independent journalism ThinkProgress is known for long into the future.” The staff also noted the “growing movement” of unionization among “digital journalists,” pointing out that this year Gawker, Salon, Vice, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera held similar “organizing drives” to unionize. The New York Times reported comment from site politics reporter Alice Ollstein, who said, “For us it just seemed like a really natural step both for ThinkProgress and, especially as we looked around, for the digital journalism industry in general.” The site’s editor-in-chief, Judd Legum, said management “has recognized the move.” Meanwhile, Writers Guild of America East executive director Lowell Peterson said the latest unionization effort was “a further demonstration that collective bargaining was alive and well in the media industry.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

ThinkProgress’s unionization is just the latest high-profile announcement of workers engaged in collective bargaining. The employee vote in favor of unionization is troubling, because it could create yet another example for employees and pro-labor forces to cite as they increase the pressure on small businesses across the US to support union agendas. Increased unionization would lead to undue burdens from labor costs, a negative on small business’ growth.

Additional Reading

The Huffington Post, the Washington Examiner, and Fortune also covered ThinkProgess’s decision to unionize.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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