Mic Set to Become Next Digital News Outlet to Unionize

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By Jacquie Lee

Employees at online news publication Mic asked management Feb. 20 to recognize the NewsGuild of New York as their union, a member of the organizing committee told Bloomberg Law.

More than 80 percent of the editorial staff signed authorization cards in favor of joining the guild, Zach Howe, a member of the organizing committee and a part-time copy editor, said. Howe is confident the company will voluntarily recognize the guild because “Mic is a company that has founded its mission on social and economic justice,” he said.

A company representative declined to comment on whether Mic will voluntarily recognize the union. “We’re in conversations and are keeping the best interest of our employees and the company in mind,” the spokeswoman said.

The proposed bargaining unit is composed of about 50 people, including full-time and part-time editorial staff at the New York headquarters and remote writers and editors across the country, Howe said. Employees are asking for pay equity, transparency within management, and other things involving scheduled raises and benefits.

Mic would join digital outlets including the Intercept, Salon, Slate, HuffPost, VICE, and Vox that became union strongholds in recent years. Editorial staff at media outlets account for some of the 90,000 professionals who joined unions in 2017. The campaign to unionize at Mic began in the spring of 2017, Howe said, although he wouldn’t say whether the recent union wins at other digital outlets galvanized Mic employees to announce their union representation now.

“We believe that the future of digital journalism is unionized, and we are a part of that future,” he said.

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