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SAG-AFTRA Unionizes U.S.-Based Al Jazeera English Employees

SAG-AFTRA has unionized the 66 U.S.-based content creators at Al Jazeera English, who have voted to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union, with 97% voting in favor.

SAG-AFTRA announced Wednesday that the election was conducted by mail ballot and votes were counted by the National Labor Relations Board. The unionization allows the bargaining unit to negotiate a first contract.

“I want to extend a warm welcome to the media professionals at Al Jazeera English on their decision to join SAG-AFTRA,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “It is imperative, particularly in these challenging times, that we ensure those responsible for informing our country and the world by reporting the news are protected. We at SAG-AFTRA are committed to standing with these media professionals in their fight for fair wages, workplace safety including while traveling, benefits, and workplace accountability.”

The unit includes hosts, reporters, editors, and camera persons who create content for the news, programming, and investigative units.

The Al Jazeera English union organizing committee released the following statement, “We the employees of Al Jazeera English are excited to finally have our union confirmed by a National Labor Relations Board election, with SAG-AFTRA as our collective bargaining representative. We are equally excited and optimistic about working with Al Jazeera Media Network management in negotiating fair wages and benefits, work-life balance, workplace equality, accountability, and opportunity.”

“We now feel that we have a seat at the table and hope that Al Jazeera English will meet us there to negotiate what is best for both the company and its employees. We hope that this will be the beginning of a dialogue in which we are free to discuss many of the major concerns employees have today,” the committee added.

Al Jazeera English programs that will now be covered by SAG-AFTRA include “Fault Lines,” “The Stream,” “Witness,” “UpFront,” and “People & Power.” SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 members.

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