The Guardian’s U.S. staff has voted to join The NewsGuild-CWA, a spokesman for the media company said Wednesday.
Forty-five staffers voted unanimously in favor, making The Guardian the latest digital media company to form a union. Unions are not only a bargaining tool for employees, but also a way for staffers to receive severance packages as companies shuffle the ranks, which happens often during a volatile media environment.
“This is a big day not only for the writers and staff members at The Guardian U.S., but for the news industry as a whole. Digital media is growing up, and it’s time our digital reporters received the same benefits and protections as their print media colleagues,” said Bernard Lunzer, president of The NewsGuild-CWA.
In joining a union, The Guardian’s U.S. team joins unionized editorial colleagues in the U.K. and Australia. The Guardian launched its U.S. edition in 2011 via a New York-based office.
The News Guild-CWA represents more than 2,000 digital workers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Reuters, Boston.com, SFGate, Philly.com and The Daily Beast.
Digital media company Salon Media Group said this month it planned to join the Writers Guild of America, East union, which Gawker Media joined in June. Gawker is perhaps the best-known digital company to unionize in recent weeks via a 75 to 25 percent margin. Forming a union has come at a fortuitous time for the media company, which operates sites such as Gawker, Jezebel and Deadspin. Upset with the direction that Gawker.com has taken in recent months, company founder Nick Denton has decided to shake up the organization after the site published a controversial story about a media executive, which was later removed.