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MTV News Unionizes With Writers Guild of America East

Variety logo Variety 2/14/2017 Dave McNary
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MTV has agreed to recognize the Writers Guild of America East as the collective bargaining representative of the digital editorial staff at MTV News.

The move comes a week and a half after the WGA East announced that it had the support of MTV News’ digital editorial staff for the purposes of collective bargaining. MTV News Unionizing Committee released a statement at that point explaining their decision to unionize and noted that staffers required legal protection due to the administration of President Donald Trump.

“There has never been a more critically important time in our lives to have the protections of a union, especially for those of us in media,” the committee said on Feb. 3. “And there’s never been a more necessary time for MTV News to talk about music, pop culture, and politics with the teenagers of America. We need to do more than just pay our respects to the past. We need a seat at the table so that we can be the future of MTV News.”

The WGA East has made unionization of New York-based digital media a priority in recent years. In addition to MTV News, guild represents editorial staffs at The Huffington Post, VICE, Gizmodo Media Group, Fusion, The Root, ThinkProgress and Salon.

“Unionizing with the WGAE gives the editorial employees at MTV News a strong voice on the job,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the WGA East. “We look forward to working closely with them to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that addresses their concerns and helps them build sustainable careers.”

MTV said Tuesday, “We are committed to doing everything we can to cultivate a creative and supportive working environment at MTV News.  Our employees are our top priority, and we welcome constructive discussions with them on this initiative.”

There are approximately 50 members in the MTV unit.

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