Saturday, March 2, 2024

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    Newsroom unions push for better terms as end-of-year mass media layoffs loom

    The latest wave of media layoffs this month has sparked newsroom unions from Condé Nast to G/O Media to publicly reprimand their companies’ leadership decisions.

    Newsrooms have unionized rapidly since the pandemic began in 2020, but the thousands of media employees that have been let go since indicate that unionizing can’t prevent layoffs from happening. Unions just don’t have that power.  But unions can work to negotiate the terms of mass layoffs, including the number of people impacted and contract provisions that address severance packages.

    “Layoffs are inevitable. They happen. No union can say, ‘No one can ever get fired,’” said Sara David, vp of online media at Writers Guild of America, East, which represents unions at G/O Media, Vice Media and Vox Media, among others. “Our goal isn’t to try and save our industry from layoffs… Right now, it’s about helping folks sustain their careers throughout layoffs and changes and working toward a more equitable and sustainable future.”

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