The guild announced Thursday that management has recognized it as the collective bargaining representative of the organization’s 11-member staff.
“This morning TPM editorial staffers in New York and Washington DC contacted me to let me know that they’d agreed unanimously to form a union and asked me to voluntarily recognize their decision. I replied that I was happy to do so. Our representative has already reached out to the WGA to make that agreement a reality,” said Josh Marshall, owner of Talking Points Memo, in an email to staff.
“TPM is an independent, ambitious, outsider news organization,” he added. “We have always strived to espouse and embody a belief in creating a society that is more equitable, just, humane and free. I believe this morning’s decision is consistent with those values and that history. I look forward to working together with the TPM Union to build on what we’ve already created together.”
TPM is the latest in digital-first editorial and video staffs that the WGA East has unionized in recent years, boosting its membership by about 1,000 to 5,000. Other sites include The Dodo, Thrillist, Vox Media, Onion Inc., HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Salon, Slate and Gizmodo Media Group.
The Talking Points Memo Union Organizing Committee said, “We are thrilled that management agreed so quickly to voluntarily recognize our union. Unions are becoming standard across online publications, particularly progressive ones, and it’s important to us to stand in solidarity with that movement. We’ve also seen the benefits and protections that come with unionizing, and we’re hopeful that forming a union will make TPM an even stronger digital media company. As TPM continues to grow as a publication, we want a seat at the table to help determine the company’s future, and we’re excited to work with management on the next steps in this process.”
WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson said, “We applaud the progressive management at Talking Points Memo for respecting the decision of the writers and editors to join with the Writers Guild of America, East and we look forward to a positive, productive experience at the bargaining table. And we welcome these hard-working journalists to the union and to the movement.”