April 16, 2018 – An overwhelming majority of editorial employees of The New Republic has signed on to a union organizing effort and has asked management to recognize the NewsGuild of New York, NewsGuild-CWA Local 31003, as their local union, organizers have announced.
The 12-person staff of the 104-year old magazine is joining a growing movement of journalists seeking union representation. Last week employees at the Chicago Tribune announced a union organizing campaign and since January journalists at the L.A. Times, the Missoula Independent, the Casper Star-Tribune and Mic have mounted successful campaigns.
The journalists of The New Republic say they are hoping to strengthen the magazine at a time of instability and uncertainty in the industry.
“For many years, unions have strengthened the newsrooms at publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and Reuters, as well as at digital media companies such as The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. These publications prove that unions enable excellent writing and powerful reporting, both in print and online. By unionizing, we hope to stand in solidarity with our peers and make the media industry stronger and more equitable for generations to come,” they wrote in a Mission Statement.
They are seeking improvements in pay, benefits, job security, and diversity, and want to foster work environment that enables collaboration and transparency.
The staff says they are confident that management will adhere to its progressive values and swiftly recognize the NewsGuild so that bargaining can begin.
“We all work for TNR because we love it here, but all workers need the protection of a union,” said staff writer Sarah Jones. “We believe that unionizing is the best way to strengthen our workplace, not just for ourselves but for future generations of journalists.”
Grant Glickson, president of the NewsGuild of New York, said the local was proud to welcome the staff of The New Republic. “At a time when our industry needs unions, we are excited to see the staff of this 100-year-old publication demand a seat at the table and a say in the future of the publication. We look forward to working with management in these shared goals.”
NewsGuild-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said the organizing effort at The New Republic is part of uprising among journalists. There is “a fight for the heart and soul of the profession,” which is evident in the recent union organizing drives, the defiant actions of the editorial board of the Denver Post against their hedge-fund owners, and in the reaction to the outrageous demands of Sinclair Broadcasting, he said.
The full text of the mission statement The New Republic’s organizing committee is below:
“As editorial employees of The New Republic, we believe in the importance of thoughtful writing, careful analysis, and convincing argument. We are proud to work for a publication that has been committed to these values for more than a century, and we want to uphold this tradition well into the future. The best way to achieve this goal, we believe, is as members of a union.
For many years, unions have strengthened the newsrooms at publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and Reuters, as well as at digital media companies such as The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. These publications prove that unions enable excellent writing and powerful reporting, both in print and online. By unionizing, we hope to stand in solidarity with our peers and make the media industry stronger and more equitable for generations to come.
Forming a union will also allow us to live the values we have espoused on our website and in the pages of our magazine. As a vital liberal voice, The New Republic has long chronicled the role of unions in preserving the middle class and giving workers a meaningful place in the political process. In recent years, we have examined the struggles of Americans across a range of industries, from teachers and graduate students to athletes and domestic workers. We have cast a critical eye on the spread of right-to-work laws in the states and the efforts of the Trump administration, the Supreme Court, and conservative lawmakers like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to crack down on collective bargaining rights. And we have explored the ways in which the labor movement can be reinvigorated in the 21st century and help lead the way to a more just and inclusive society.
We believe that joining the NewsGuild is the best way to contribute to this new era in The New Republic’s history and create a safe, fair workplace for everyone. We organize from a position of enthusiasm for The New Republic and the work we do together. We hope to nurture a culture of collaboration, transparency, and growth that will sustain our tradition of opinion journalism. And we all feel a strong sense of commitment to The New Republic, our colleagues, and our readers. By unionizing, we want to make good on that commitment and be the best partners we can be in TNR’s future.”