The Onion Staff Votes to Unionize – This Is Not a Joke!

Media org’s properties Clickhole and A.V. Club to follow suit


Employees at Onion Inc. have voted to unionize, the company announced Thursday.

The media organization manages several properties including the satiric websites, The Onion and Clickhole and the more serious A.V. Club.

The news was first announced in an article on A.V. Club Thursday — which heavily stressed that they were not joking. The piece reposted a letter sent to management of Onion Inc. and Univision, which owns a minority stake in the company.

“By organizing, we intend to protect the culture and values that make Onion Inc. a singularly great place to work and establish a formal means by which the employees have a collective and meaningful voice in our workplace,” they said. “As we continue to work with Univision and Fusion Media Group, we are unionizing to establish transparency and open communication around the high-level decisions being made that affect Onion Inc.”

The letter listed editorial independence, fair wages and having a “seat at the table” as the primary reason which prompted the move.

Onion Inc.’s employees will sign up with the The Writers Guild Of America, East, which also represents such brands as Vice, HuffPost, Vox, Salon and many others.

In a statement to TheWrap, Onion Inc. said they welcomed the decision and looked forward to working with the new arrangement.

“We are dedicated to providing an environment where all our employees can thrive and we respect their right to unionize. We have begun having discussions with the WGAE about the path forward and hope to arrive at an arrangement in short order,” said a spokesperson.

The decision by Onion Inc. editorial is the latest in a string of unionizations that have swept digital newsrooms. In recent months employees at Mic and Vox Media also moved to organize.

While heralded by some liberal groups, the union wave has also come with setbacks. Vox Media was forced to layoff dozens of employees just weeks after they unionized, while union pushes at DNAInfo and Gothamist ultimately resulted in the shuttering of those organizations.