Hearst Magazines Win Vote to Unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East
NEW YORK, NY (July 29, 2020) – In a historic union win, Hearst Magazines’ digital and print staff overwhelmingly voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). This election took place via mail ballot and was administered by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The new bargaining unit will include 500 members from Hearst Magazine’s editorial, video, design, photo, and social staff across 28 digital / print brands—Autoweek, Best Products, Bicycling, Car and Driver, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Delish, ELLE, ELLE Decor, Esquire, Food Network Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, HGTV Magazine, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, Men’s Health, O The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Prevention, Road & Track, Runner’s World, Seventeen, The Pioneer Woman, Town & Country, Veranda, Woman’s Day, and Women’s Health.
Hearst Magazines’ staff initially announced its intention to join the WGAE in November, 2019. Management refused to recognize the union voluntarily and waged a protracted legal battle at the NLRB in an attempt to delay the election and divide the bargaining unit into six separate groups. In June, the NLRB dismissed all of Hearst management’s arguments and directed an election for a single bargaining unit across all 28 brands.
Upon organizing, Hearst Magazines’ staff outlined a plan to collectively bargain a contract that addresses issues like diversity, transparency, compensation, and editorial standards.
The Hearst Magazines Organizing Committee tweeted, “We’re thrilled to see so many months of hard work pay off and are eager to start bargaining our first union contract. Hundreds of us across 28 brands and several states voted for a fairer and more transparent workplace, and we can’t wait to bring this energy to the negotiating table. We are grateful for the support of our union siblings in the Writers Guild of America, East. We will join them to raise standards for all with solidarity across the industry.”
Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, “Hearst is not just about a storied brand; it’s about the hard work of the people who are involved with writing, editing, and producing the stories that educate and inspire and delight readers and viewers. These employees have voted overwhelmingly to join with the Writers Guild of America, East to bargain collectively over the terms and conditions of their employment, to make their voices heard in the workplace, to ensure that their needs and interests and priorities are addressed. We welcome them to our community of creative professionals, and we look forward to working together to demonstrate, again, that collective bargaining works.”
The WGAE now represents nearly 7,000 writers in film, television, and news (broadcast and digital). In addition to Hearst Magazines, the WGAE represents newsrooms at ABC News, CBS News, CBSN, Committee to Protect Journalists, The Dodo, Fast Company, Fox 5 WNYW-TV, Future plc, Gimlet Media, G/O Media, HuffPost, The Intercept, Jewish Currents, MTV News, Refinery29, The Ringer, Salon, Slate, Talking Points Memo, 1010 WINS, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), Thrillist, VICE, Vox Media and WBBM / CBS 2 News.
ABOUT THE WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, news and new media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.