I do think we have a clear bias and discriminatory approach to who deserves better pay and working conditions. As it is not just the issue of the hourly, its the scheduling problems, the need for clear opportunities for growth and the discontinuation of major corporations encouraging if not requiring their employees to avail themselves of public assistance. Isn't the point of having a job avoiding such a need?
Then we have white collar. We don't realize that while many organized affiliations such as the AMA or ABA are lobbying organizations that act on behalf of their members in the same way labor unions do. They simply don't collectively bargain directly with employers as many were or are self employed and in turn have high salaries and secure professional outcomes.
But there are other white collar professions, Teachers who are conventionally unionized and in turn vilified for jobs that are increasingly low in pay and in turn becoming criminalized with the push towards testing and evaluations tied to the results. That now seems to be something many have found common ground vs core on.
So when I read about this move to organize Gawker writers I was surprised. There is a push towards aggregate sites and this view of journalism as predominately freelance and in turn free. Blogs are not free but I ask for donations, I know that most do as well or place ads to somehow provide some income to offset costs. I have yet to see one donation and I don't expect any. This is what it means to live in the sharing economy.
Journalists at Gawker Media’s Websites Are Planning to Unionize
The New York Times
APRIL 16, 2015
Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker. Referring to the employees’ unionization plans, he said: “I’m intensely relaxed. We’ll see how the debate among the journalists plays out.”
The plans are in their early stages, but a blog post from one of Gawker’s senior writers said that some employees had been thinking of unionizing for some time."
Employees at Gawker Media, the parent company of websites like Gawker and Deadspin, are planning to unionize.
“Every workplace could use a union,” Hamilton Nolan, a senior writer for Gawker, wrote Thursday in a blog post announcing the move. “A union is the only real mechanism that exists to represent the interests of employees in a company.”
He added, “A union is also the only real mechanism that enables employees to join together to bargain collectively, rather than as a bunch of separate, powerless entities.”
Mr. Nolan, who has worked at Gawker since 2008, said in a phone interview that the effort to organize was still in its early stages, a point he also made in his blog post. But he added, “It’s been something that a lot of us have probably thought about in an abstract way for a long time.”
On Wednesday evening, about 30 Gawker Media employees, representing most of the Gawker blogs, met with union organizers over sandwiches and beer at the Writers Guild in New York to discuss the unionization process and hash out their concerns about the company. The meeting lasted more than two hours.
“It was a very good discussion, and everybody got to say their piece,” Mr. Nolan said. “At the end of it, the interest level was really strong.”
Many details — including which employees will be eligible to join the union — are still being worked out. The current thinking is that only nonmanagement newsroom employees would be able to join. Gawker Media said it had 116 news employees, which includes both writers and editors, across its media properties — though the line between editors and writers is blurry. Employees discussed the unionization efforts on Thursday at the company’s weekly meeting.
Gawker Media has recently experienced a number of executive changes. In December, Nick Denton, the company’s founder, announced that he was stepping down as president and would be sharing managerial responsibilities with a board of six managing partners. In a memo about the change, Mr. Denton also urged the company to focus more on good, relevant writing and less on producing viral articles.
Tommy Craggs, who was named executive editor of Gawker Media as part of the management overhaul, has been a vocal supporter of unions. In 2012, when he was the editor of the Gawker Media sports site Deadspin, he wrote a laudatory remembrance of Marvin Miller, who had recently died and was a labor leader who built the Major League Baseball players union into a force that transformed the sport.
“My sympathies are pretty clear to anyone within editorial and within the company,” Mr. Craggs said about the unionization attempt. “I don’t think there’s any great secret that I support Hamilton’s efforts.”
Mr. Denton seemed similarly serene. “I’m intensely relaxed,” he wrote in an email. “We’ll see how the debate among the journalists plays out.”
Can I just say let's hope HuffPo follows their lead. Arianna claims to care deeply about income inequity in the same vein Denton cares about actual journalism
Meanwhile among the great unwashed.....
Protest for Unions and Politicians, a Nationwide Protest on Pay
The New York Times
APRIL 15, 2015
The protest by tens of thousands of low-wage workers, students and activists in more than 200 American cities on Wednesday is the most striking effort to date in a two-and-a-half-year-old labor-backed movement that is testing the ability of unions to succeed in an economy populated by easily replaceable service sector workers.
Labor has invested tens of millions of dollars in a campaign for a $15-an-hour minimum wage that goes beyond traditional workplace organizing, taking on a cause that has captured broad public support. But the movement is up against a hostile business sector sheltered by a decades-old federal labor law that makes it difficult for workers to directly confront the wealthy corporations that dominate the fast-food and hospitality industries.
For political activists looking to the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond, the wage fight is coming at a potentially pivotal moment, the first concrete, large-scale challenge in decades to an economic system they view as skewed toward the wealthy
“There is a huge upswelling of anger around jobs in this economy that are low-wage jobs,” said Jonathan Westin, director of New York Communities for Change, a grass-roots organizing group that has played a key role in both the Occupy Wall Street movement and the current fast-food workers’ campaign. “This economy we’re living in now doesn’t work for people.”