Fortune editorial staffers to strike during CEO conference
The editorial employees of the Fortune Union announced Tuesday that they will walk off the job for two days and picket next month during the CEO Initiative event in protest over management’s negotiations with the NewsGuild of New York.
Members of the Fortune Union have been fighting for a fair contract with standard benefits like severance during layoffs. Digital workers at Fortune won their union on May 21, 2019, but the members do not have a contract, which led to the union filing multiple unfair labor practice charges against Fortune management this year, including charges recently filed protesting the company’s refusal to bargain over a safe return to office.
“At a time when the journalism profession is under tremendous economic pressure, it’s difficult for journalists to do their best work while under the perpetual threat of cost cuts and layoffs that threaten their livelihoods,” said Rey Mashayekhi, finance reporter, in a statement. “Benefits like severance during layoffs provide the economic security and peace of mind that far too many in the industry lack, and ensure that journalism professionals get a fairer piece of the revenues their work generates for billionaire publishers.”
The CEO Initiative will be held on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14.
“The Fortune CEO Initiative is a conference dedicated to helping employers incorporate and promote social progress as part of their core business values,” said Susan DeCarava, president of the NewsGuild of New York, in a statement. “Guild members at Fortune are fighting for those same company values to be applied to newsroom working conditions. Is management ready to walk the talk it sells to conference attendees and magazine/website subscribers? It is long past time for management at Fortune magazine to stop stalling, do the right thing, and agree to a fair standards contract our members will ratify.”
The union offered to bargain with the company daily in the lead-up to the conference. The union says Fortune management refused.
A study by the union found significant wage gaps affecting women and people of color in the newsroom. Women make 84% of what men in the unit do on average, and workers of color make 78% of what their white colleagues do.