Journalists at Forbes won a stunning 90.5% vote in favor of unionizing on Tuesday, with 67 voting yes and just 7 voting no. The unit will encompass approximately 100 newsroom employees, including reporters, editors, designers, videographers and social media editors. They will join the NewsGuild of New York Local 31003.
“After months of organizing, we’re proud of our newsroom for coming together to make Forbes a fairer and more secure workplace for staffers at all levels,” said Rachel Sandler, a wealth reporter at Forbes. “We’re excited to move forward as a unit to address diversity, pay equity, editorial integrity and much more at the bargaining table.”
“Today’s results reflect Forbes staffers’ desire for a more equitable, stable and transparent workplace,” said Ariel Shapiro, media and entertainment reporter at Forbes. “We look forward to working with management on a contract that will achieve just that.”
Susan DeCarava, president of New York local, welcome the new members to the Guild. “Today’s win is yet another clear example of media workers coming together to bargain collectively to improve their working conditions and to ensure the future of journalism,” she said. “I look forward to Forbes management working with our bargaining committee in good faith to negotiate a fair contract.”
On May 18, the Forbes Union announced that more than 80% of the editorial staff had signed union authorization cards, requesting voluntary recognition from Forbes management. Members filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board on May 24 after the company refused to recognize the union. The mail-ballot vote was held from June 29 to July 20.
The iconic business magazine long associated with the Forbes family is now 95% owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments, a Chinese company based in Hong Kong, and 5% by the Forbes family.
The workers at Forbes are the latest to join the growing movement among journalists organizing to raise media industry standards across the country, including at Insider, The Atlantic, and the Southern California News Group. By using their collective voice, journalists have been able to push for structural changes and secure big contract wins. NewsGuild of New York members recently won an historic contract with Condé Nast that included just cause protections, a ban on the use of NDAs, and significant wage increases.