Employees of Sports Illustrated announced Monday that an overwhelming majority of the 80-person newsroom staff has signed cards indicating support for joining the NewsGuild of New York-TNG-CWA Local 31003. They are seeking voluntary recognition from the magazine's new operator, TheMaven.
"We are fighting for a say in Sports Illustrated's future, for the job protections that allow us to freely pursue independent journalism, for the editorial standards and integrity that our readers demand, and for the diverse and equitable workplace we deserve," the group wrote.
The news comes three months after TheMaven instructed Meredith, the former owners, to lay off more than 40 staffers as part of the sale of the publication and days after the official transition from Meredith to TheMaven.
"As journalists, we hold the teams and athletes we cover accountable. It is our responsibility to do the same in our own workplace," Senior Writer Jenny Vrentas said in a press statement. "We are unionizing to ensure that Sports Illustrated is a safe, inclusive place to work, where all employees are treated equally and can continue to perform our jobs at a high level."
The Springfield News-Leader
The journalists of The Springfield News-Leader took action to get some local control over local news. On Monday, they announced they're forming a union at the Gannett-owned publication. Every full-time staffer at the paper signed a card indicating support for forming the Springfield News Guild, a unit of The NewsGuild-CWA's United Media Guild local.
"For more than 150 years, we have written, photographed, and edited the first draft of Ozarks history," the Organizing Committee wrote. "We hold governments, businesses, and schools accountable. We capture and measure progress as it happens. We tell the stories of the incredible people who live here. But that work has gotten harder and harder as faraway executives have ordered cut after cut to our staff and our service to the community," they said.
Workers plan to negotiate for better wages and benefits that will make jobs at the paper more stable. Joining together in a union will also give them "a seat at the table" the next time the company orders layoffs or other cost-cutting measures, they said.