More than 250 media workers at Insider Inc. struck for one day on Monday, protesting the company’s proposal to lay off 60 Guild-represented journalists, eliminating 20 percent of the bargaining unit and significantly reducing the size of the award-winning newsroom.
Insider management proposed the sweeping cuts last Thursday, April 20th, as part of a plan to reduce staff while still bargaining for a first contract with Insider Union. Insider Union members are represented by The NewsGuild of New York.
“Our unit was shocked and infuriated when management told us they wanted to lay off 60 of our coworkers even though there’s no urgent financial need for these cuts,” said Emma LeGault, Insider Union Unit Chair. “The company seemingly wants to protect its own profits, but it is us, the workers, who are being asked to pay the price.”
“I’m proud of the work I do for Insider,” said April Joyner, an Insider Union shop steward and Insider Correspondent who is on management’s proposed list for layoff. “Hearing that the company wanted to eliminate my position with no financial urgency was really insulting. I’m proud to walk out with my colleagues and stand united in our fight.”
In April 2021, more than 300 employees at Insider announced they had formed a union of workers across editorial, including reporters, editors, producers and designers. Insider Union was officially certified by the National Labor Relations Board the following June after the workers voted 241-14 in favor of unionization. The workers are still fighting for their first contract.
“Insider management is attempting to undermine the bargaining process by proposing staffing cuts while refusing to agree to fair and reasonable layoff language, wage increases, and newsroom protections for the journalists who are central to the company’s success,” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “Insider Union members are demanding that the company bargain in good faith and rescind the effort to push their colleagues out of the newsroom. We are demanding a fair contract that will make Insider the best it can be for everyone.”
Attempting to do layoffs before a first contract is reached is illegal under U.S. labor law.