First today came the “Fusion Organizing Committee Statement.” Seeking to follow in the footsteps of Gizmodo Media Group employees assimilated by parent company Univision, it lists some of the reasons why representation with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) is seen as beneficial and urges fellow employees to sign a union card and-or ask questions.
Then came, per BuzzFeed labor reporter Cora Lewis, the email response from Fusion president-COO Boris Gartner and president-CCO Daniel Eilemberg. The tone is cautionary:
As an organization rooted in journalism, we believe in democratic choice made by a well-informed electorate. We feel it is important that all employees who would be affected have the opportunity to hear Fusion’s perspective on the issue of union representation so that they can make an educated, personal decision from the privacy of a voting booth. We’ll be sharing information directly with you and encouraging you to investigate and ask questions so that you have a complete picture on what Guild representation would mean. At the end of that process, we think you will agree that Guild representation would not be beneficial for you or Fusion.
Gartner and Eilemberg promise to discuss the matter further directly with staff once Hurricane Matthew has passed through, and also remind that if a group of Fusion employees successfully votes to join WGAE, there is no provision for individual objectors to opt out.
Update (Nov. 11):
Per a statement from the Writers Guild of America East, Fusion employees have voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining the WGAE union. Still pending is official the completion of a similar process for Univision sister site The Root.