Huffington Post Staffers Explain Why They Signed Union Cards

A letter from 83 fully committed HuffPost employees.

WGAEastLogoThe email is signed by 83 members of The Huffington Post editorial staff. It’s an impressive alphabetical list that begins with Detroit-based national reporter Kate Abbey-Lambertz and ends with D.C. health writer Jeffrey Young.

The group wants friends and colleagues to fully understand their decision to seek to follow in the footsteps of Salon, Vice, Al Jazeera, Gawker, Think Progress and Guardian US. Primarily, the attempt to unionize through WGA East is a reflection of their belief in the editorial mission at hand:

It’s about much more than just principles. We cherish working here and know that many of our friends and colleagues do too. We would feel even more invested in the place we love if we were employed under a union contract. Why? A union contract is a formal way of making sure that workers have input in how the company is run. It is, in effect, making official the collaborative spirit that permeates this place.

It is also a practical way to address issues that have impacted many of our current and former colleagues. Inconsistent compensation and lack of clarity in management decisions are just two issues that have contributed to a troublingly high turnover rate. We want to stay here and build healthy careers here, with our friends, doing good journalism among colleagues and managers we care about and respect. Unionizing will give us even stronger roots by giving us a voice and a stronger community of colleagues.

The email signatories reflects only those out of HuffPost’s roughly 350 total editorial employees who have chosen to currently go public with their WGA East endorsement.

LesyJAbregoandDadAnd in terms of timing, today’s Huffington Post blog item by author and UCLA professor Leisy J. Abrego couldn’t be more appropriate. It’s titled: “Honoring My Father: The Immigrant, the Union Activist” and describes how dad cut short a burgeoning career as an air traffic controller to move his family from El Salvador to the promise of a better future:

He worked for over 30 years at the Holiday Inn/Luxe Hotel in downtown L.A. Through his leadership and participation in collective action, he has contributed to the labor movement history being created by this wave of Latino immigrants in the city. Today, he is a server at another hotel restaurant and still a member of the union.

On the eve of his 60th birthday, I pause to honor my father. He helped me with my math homework, taught me to ride a bike, play baseball and appreciate the music of Pink Floyd, Carlos Santana, Cat Stevens, Rubén Blades and Joan Manuel Serrat. He challenged me to be the best at what I do, regardless of where I am. But the biggest lesson he taught me is that we can find the most meaning in this country by fighting collectively for our rights and those of others.

A WGA East rep tells FishbowlNY that union cards signed by Huffington Post employees are continuing to come in daily as part of what is an ongoing effort. The rep emphasized that “the signers to this letter represent a broad base of support and unity that exists amongst HuffPosters across titles, departments and geographic regions.”

Previously on FishbowlNY:
HuffPost Seeking Unionization

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: November 18, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT