OLD Media Moves

Forbes editorial staffers are joining a union

May 18, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Forbes editorial staffers announced Tuesday their intent to unionize with The NewsGuild of New York, with over 80 percent of eligible staffers signed on to the campaign.

Forbes staffers are asking company management to recognize the union.

“This is largely about strengthening a greater sense of balance within the newsroom,” said Matt Kang, video producer at Forbes, in a statement. “The more balanced we are as a unit, the stronger we can perform in an increasingly competitive and crowded media landscape and ensure our successful track record.”

The Forbes Union said it organized to secure the standards of a professional newsroom: a more inclusive and transparent workplace, job security, transparency, a collaborative professional environment that removes the top-down management structures, equity in pay and opportunity, and accountability.

“We’re organizing to promote greater diversity in our newsroom, to gain more of a voice in editorial decisions, and advocate for a more supportive work environment where there are clear pathways for promotion,” said senior media editor Dawn Chmielewski in a statement.

A Forbes spokesman provided the following statement:

In an email to all employees in March, Forbes acknowledged employees’ rights to organize. Forbes reiterated the significant steps the company has been undertaking for the last few years to ensure Forbes remains the best place to work in media. Among them:

Job Security: Forbes’ owners and our management team made a promise in early 2020 to keep the team intact. Forbes succeeded, avoiding layoffs, furloughs or salary reductions and ending the year with 59 new employees. And this year, while many of our peers are shedding jobs, especially in the newsroom, we’ve added 44 new employees.

Salaries: Comprehensive salary reviews are an ongoing process at Forbes, and compensation ranges ensure that there are no pay inequities.

Benefits: The company’s benefits are better than companies of our size and, for the seventh year in a row, Forbes did not increase health care premiums for employees – a move that is unheard-of for organizations of any size. For 2021, Forbes held the line on costs, while adding significant new benefits.

DEI: Of the 59 new employees hired last year, 45% are diverse. Forbes also promoted 100 employees in 2020, 30% of whom are diverse.

Time Off: Forbes offers well-above benchmark time-off policies, which include generous vacation time, carry-over vacation days every year, the weeklong break between Christmas and New Year’s, the three Days of Impact and the annual Malcolm Forbes birthday holiday – all of which are in addition to our numerous company holidays. Forbes also added Juneteenth as an official company holiday this year and going forward.

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