The editorial staff at Reviewed, part of the USA Today Network, voted in a landslide today to be represented by the Boston Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA Local 31245. The Reviewed Editorial Workers Union consists of 38 members across the country, including 15 reporting to the Reviewed offices in Cambridge, MA.
The success of this election came on the heels of an aggressive anti-union campaign carried out by management, resulting in a separate filing for the Reviewed Lab and Operations Workers Union as well as other attempts to divide the union, including voter challenges, targeted restructuring, and dubiously legal mid-election captive audience meetings which prompted the workers to file a ULP charge against Gannett.
“Our victory today is not just a validation of our organizing efforts, but a validation of the very concept of worker solidarity, too,” said Michael Desjardin, a senior staff writer. “For years, our dedicated, hardworking staff has shaped Reviewed’s continued success. Now, we’ve officially secured a seat at the bargaining table, securing a better future for Reviewed and strengthening solidarity across the entire Gannett network. We look forward to having our voices heard.”
“We welcome the official certification of our editorial worker-comrades’ union, which formalizes the unity and solidarity which we’ve been building underground for nearly a year,” said operations coordinator Sofia Tort. “Every day, we hear from our colleagues that the organizing work leading to this election has given them a sense of community and mutual support that they’d never seen at Reviewed. The victory we’ve won today, especially after the union busting that we’ve been faced with at every step of this campaign, demonstrates the strength of that unity. We’re now ready to advance towards our Lab and Operations election, and then the bargaining table, with redoubled confidence.”
Reviewed’s editorial workers include writers, editors, photographers, video producers, graphic designers, and social media specialists who contribute to the production, publication and circulation of product reviews and consumer reports. Their organizing effort went public with an NLRB election petition in December, 2022.
The announcement of their union effort was accompanied by a mission statement calling attention to a number of demands shared by members of Reviewed’s staff, from just-cause for terminations to the redress of current substandard wages and more, issues they blame for the high employee turnover Reviewed saw in 2021-22.
As senior editor Joanna Nelius put it, “Since we began organizing last year, we’ve lost some incredible colleagues to no-cause terminations, unjust layoffs, and general attrition as the poor compensation and working conditions we’ve faced at Reviewed made it harder and harder to stay. But our victory today goes to show that Reviewed’s staff, from those who have been here for years to those who just started with the company, are ready to unite to make sure that those conditions end here and to fight for a better workplace. We’ve seen that that is only possible when we’re organized as workers, and today our organization is finally legally recognized; I’m proud to now be a member of the Boston Newspaper Guild.”
The Reviewed Editorial Workers’ Union joins 48 other unionized Gannett workplaces around the country ready to fight for a fair and equitable contract for Reviewed and for every Gannett worker.