Guild ready for ‘constructive dialogue’
Aug. 24, 2016 – A 92 percent majority of the editorial staff of legal news website Law360 voted for Guild representation in a government-run election on Wednesday, despite an intense three-week management anti-union campaign.
The Law360 staff of more than 130 reporters, editors, and news assistants and apprentices across the United States voted 109 to nine in favor of Guild representation in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. Law360, a fast-growing publisher of legal news and analysis, is owned by LexisNexis Group, a subsidiary of RELX Group.
“Today’s result is a testament to the passionate efforts of Law360’s dedicated journalists,” said Sindhu Sundar, a Law360 features reporter. “We’re incredibly excited for this new chapter of our history.”
The Guild petitioned the NLRB for an election on July 19, as Law360 employees simultaneously asked management to voluntarily recognize the Guild as their representative. Employees in New York, Washington and Los Angeles voted in-person on Aug. 10, while more than two dozen employees in remote locations voted by mail, with a return deadline of Aug. 23.
Management not only rejected the Guild’s request for voluntary recognition, it brought in a “union avoidance” consulting firm. Employees were pulled into daily hour-long meetings with the consultants, LexisNexis executives, and senior Law360 managers, all urging them to vote no. Five days before the election, the editor-in-chief and a managing editor were fired and escorted out of the building, a move many employees saw as a dramatic effort by management to show that it was ready to make changes if they rejected the Guild.
“After overcoming an intense anti-union campaign, the editorial staff of Law360 joins the thousands of union journalists nationwide that benefit from the protections of Guild-negotiated contracts,”said New York NewsGuild President Peter Szekely. “Employees have sent management a clear message and we hope Law360 accepts it. We’re ready to turn the page and have a constructive dialogue with management.”
Mission statement from the Law360 Organizing Committee:
“Law360 has become an indispensable news source for the legal and business communities, and we, the journalists, are proud of the instrumental role we’ve played in driving the company’s constant and remarkable growth.
However, this success has not led to better working conditions for those in the newsroom, and the editorial staff of Law360 believe the time has come to unite and ensure that our voices are heard.
Together, Law360’s talented pool of reporters, copy editors, news assistants, third-party content editors and graphics editors are seeking reasonable compensation and overtime pay. We also stand against unilateral changes to our healthcare and other benefits, a mercurial management style, and an overwhelming quota-based workload that leads to a poor work-life balance and questionable editorial priorities.
That’s why Law360’s editorial workers are seeking to unionize with the NewsGuild of New York. We believe collective bargaining is the most effective way to sustain a company where journalists can focus on quality reporting, confident that their interests are adequately represented.
The vast majority of Law360’s editorial staff from around the country support this effort to address our concerns collectively. We ask management to recognize this union and engage with us in constructive and amicable negotiations.”