Hundreds of Hearst Workers Walkout and Rally To Demand A Fair First Union Contract
NEW YORK, NY (March 23, 2023) – Hundreds of Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) members at Hearst Magazines walked off the job today to demand management agree to a fair first union contract at their last scheduled day of negotiations on March 28.
The Hearst Union held walkouts and rallies at Hearst Tower in Manhattan, NY, and at Hearst offices in Easton, PA, Ann Arbor, MI, and Birmingham, AL. Union members were joined at rallies by allies from the AFL-CIO, New York City Central Labor Council, the Lehigh Valley Central Labor Council, Michigan AFL-CIO, and Central Alabama Labor Federation, among other unions, activists, and supporters.
After more than two years of negotiations, the Hearst Union is fighting to close out a collective bargaining agreement with management that includes fair salary minimums, fair wage increases, better severance, and strong anti-harassment protections, among other key issues. The unit is demanding the Company cease committing unfair labor practices and come to the bargaining table with proposals for fair wages and terms.
Zach Lennon-Simon (Delish) from Heart’s New York office said, “For two years Hearst has stalled, low balled, and refused to bargain with us. Today we’re walking out because we’d like to remind Hearst what they are without our labor; nothing but a name.”
Joey Capparella (Car and Driver), representing Hearst’s Ann Arbor office, noted, “We’re walking out today because more than two years is too long to wait for a fair union contract. We need to show Hearst management that our members care about higher salary minimums, better severance protections, diversity in our hiring practices, and the right to have a union representative present in meetings about harassment—all of which are items that management refuses to agree on.”
Jennifer Leman (Enthusiast Group) from Hearst’s Easton office added, ““So many of us pour our heart and soul into these brands—they don’t call us the Enthusiast Group for nothing—and we’re simply asking for that work to be fairly compensated. Our demands for industry-standard wages, guaranteed annual increases amid rising inflation, a minimum severance package, union representation in meetings relating to harassment and discrimination, and increased support for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC employees are not absurd. We’re walking out today because we know these brands cannot operate without us. It’s been two years since we first met management at the bargaining table, and we’re tired of their delays and excuses. We urge Hearst to bargain with us in good faith so we can finally secure a fair contract and get back to giving 100% to the jobs we love.”
Chris Michel (Country Living) from Hearst’s Birmingham office wrote, “The Hearst workers in Birmingham are hopeful that this walkout will help upper management understand that their employees across the country are committed to getting a meaningful and fair contract as soon as possible. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in New York, PA, Michigan, and with Hearst employees everywhere.”
The 500-member bargaining unit at Hearst Magazines includes editorial, video, design, photo, and social staff across 28 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, Women’s Health.
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, broadcast and streaming news, podcasts, and online 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.