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Hearst Magazines Unionizes With Writers Guild of America East

The Writers Guild of America East has scored a major victory by unionizing Hearst Magazines’ editorial, video, design, photo and social staff across 24 digital and print brands.

The New York-based WGA East, which has about 6,000 members in film, television, news and digital media, announced on Monday that a strong majority of the 500-member staff has signed union cards.

The WGA East, which began its Hearst unionization efforts a year ago, has made unionization of New York-based digital media a priority in recent years. The guild represents digital-first editorial and video staffs at Vox Media, Onion Inc., HuffPost, Vice, the Intercept, Refinery 29, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Salon, Slate and Gizmodo Media Group.

“The staff at Hearst has demonstrated today that there is always power in a union,” WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson said. “Hearst’s union drive comes as the media industry continues to consolidate, as companies become platform-agnostic and offer content on paper, over the airwaves, and online. We are proud and pleased to build the movement for collective bargaining for the professional storytellers at Hearst. Unionizing, winning recognition, bargaining contracts, this is how people who craft content ensure that their voices are heard and their workplace needs are met.”

The Hearst brands include Autoweek, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Elle, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Men’s Health, The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Runner’s World, Seventeen, Town & Country and Women’s Health.

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“Our 24 brands represent every facet of contemporary culture, and we believe employees at Hearst should reflect the diversity of the world at large,” the Hearst organizing committee said on Monday. “The Hearst Magazine Media Union demands that the company make concrete strides to form a truly inclusive and fair workplace. The only way to drive the company culture forward, continue as a leader within the media industry, and make the brands stronger collectively and separately is to consolidate our interests into one strong, collective voice.”

The committee said it will push for diversity, transparency, compensation and editorial standards. Hearst Corporation did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

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