May 11, 2020 – Staffers at Pop-Up Magazine Productions announced May 11 that they are forming a union as part of the Media Guild of the West, a local of The NewsGuild-CWA. They are part of a surge in union organizing among news industry workers.
An overwhelming majority of more than 30 non-management employees at Pop-Up Magazine and The California Sunday Magazine signed union authorization cards. The editors, producers, designers and other staffers said they are seeking to partner with management to build a sustainable work environment for all, including by addressing issues such as job security, transparency, career growth and compensation.
The organizing drive had been in the works for more than a year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the crisis deepened, the crisis facing magazine journalism and live events – the pillars of Pop-Up Magazine Productions’ business – have become clearer and more pressing. Staffers want to ensure their voices are heard in the important decisions to come.
“Working at Pop-Up has been one of the defining experiences of my life,” said Aaron Edwards, senior producer and co-host of Pop-Up Magazine and a member of the organizing committee. “I’m so thrilled to stand with my colleagues, who are some of the most talented and insightful people I’ve ever worked with. The time we’re living in by its nature calls for us to think and act as a collective. I’m excited we’re doing that.”
Anthony Pesce, president of Media Guild of the West, said, “I’m proud to welcome the staffers of Pop-Up Magazine Productions into our union. It’s inspiring to see workers come together, especially during this global crisis, and we look forward to building a productive relationship with Pop-Up management.”