Meredith brace for union battle

Publishing giant Meredith prepares for a union battle.

The New York News Guild said more than 90% of the editorial staff at Entertainment Weekly, Martha Stewart Living and Shape and People TV chose to be represented by the union, but Meredith has delved into the union voluntarily. He said he would not admit it. As a bargaining agent for about 100 employees.

Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith acquired Time for $ 2.8 billion in January 2018, taking over five union magazines. He then sold Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrations, and Money, leaving Peoplesprint magazine as the only union magazine. Publication.

In People, the union represented only low-management editorial staff in weekly magazines. The NewsGuild-Cash Labor Union promotes the representation of all four publications in a single bargaining unit.

Meredith immediately counterattacked Thursday afternoon.

“We recognize the federal rights of employees to join the union, but we believe it is imperative that each employee exercise the federal rights of secret ballot elections. Therefore, we voluntarily make the union voluntary. It is our policy not to admit to. By doing so, employees’ democratic voting rights will be avoided. ”

“The media environment we operate is evolving rapidly and changing dramatically, requiring a more creative, agile and flexible operating culture,” the company said. “We believe in transparent and ongoing dialogue without the intervention of third parties.”

Union Drive could be one of the first hurdles for Catherine Levine, the newly appointed president of the National Media Group, including magazines.

Meredith was hit by the same headwinds that shook in the other media world during COVID-19. In September, we fired about 50 people in the magazine sector as part of a company-wide reduction of 180 people, including 15 local television stations and headquarters. In the early days of the pandemic, about 60% of employees had wage cuts in the range of 15-40%, but in September the wage cuts were cancelled.

At EW, editor-in-chief JD Heyman suddenly “takes effect immediately” on Tuesday, the company said. According to a subsequent report by The Wrap, some staff members complained that Heyman made a number of racist statements and were told to HR.

However, according to another source, Hayman was in conflict with People Editor-in-Chief Dan Wakeford. “I think it’s as easy as a high school drama,” a source said. “Dan and JD hated each other, and Dan won.”

I couldn’t ask Hayman for comment.

Meredith brace for union battle

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