Salon Media Editorial Staff to Unionize With Writers Guild of America

“We see an opportunity to help establish standards and practices in Internet journalism,” the editorial staff wrote in a public letter to management

The editorial department at Salon Media, Inc. is following in Gawker’s footsteps by organizing with the Writer’s Guild of America, East.

Staff writers announced the decision on Thursday with a letter “asking the management of Salon to recognize” the Guild as their collective bargaining representative.

“We are doing this because we believe in our publication and want it to be successful,” the letter reads. “In the wake of the Gawker staff’s vote to organize with the WGAE, we see an opportunity to help establish standards and practices in Internet journalism. It’s an exciting moment for our field, and we want Salon to be at the forefront of change.”

Like it did Gawker, the WGAE has welcomed Salon’s team of journalists at the digital outlet into the fold.

“The Writers Guild of America, East is deeply pleased to join with the writers of Salon Media to bargain collectively about their workplace concerns,” executive director Lowell Peterson said in a statement. “We agree that they can make a real difference in their own lives, and in the standards of digital media generally, by negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with their employer.  Our members share their commitment to crafting thoughtful stories, and understand that joining a union of creative professionals is an essential part of building sustainable careers doing meaningful work.”

Read the full letter, signed by the entire editorial staff, announcing their decision.

We, the editorial staffers at Salon Media, Inc. have decided to organize. Every single one of the editorial employees at Salon supports unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East, and today we’re asking the management of Salon to recognize our union.

We are doing this because we believe in our publication and want it to be successful. We’re especially proud to work for a media organization that has championed progressive values for nearly twenty years. We believe this organizing campaign is a positive and public way for us to put those values into practice, right here at home. In the wake of the Gawker staff’s vote to organize with the WGAE, we see an opportunity to help establish standards and practices in Internet journalism. It’s an exciting moment for our field, and we want Salon to be at the forefront of change.

We also fervently believe that an employee union is in the best interests of Salon, in the short and long term, and will yield benefits of many kinds. It will solidify Salon’s position as a progressive leader, generate tremendous employee goodwill, and transform the workplace environment in positive ways. We suspect that over the long haul it will also be good business. We want Salon to be an even better place to work and a stronger company, and that by organizing, we will strengthen our mission, our vision and our productivity.

As the surprising example set by the management and editorial staff of Gawker has made clear, the process of collective bargaining can commit management, editors and writers to work together in a new way. That’s a critically important first step, and we are here to make it together.

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