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 union announced Tuesday. The move comes just 11 days after the WGAE announced the staff's desire to unionize, and it avoids a ballot whose results would probably have been a foregone conclusion, as about 80 percent of the 50-employee bargaining unit had signed representation cards.
MTV News Unionizing Committee released a statement explaining its decision to unionize, in which it said that "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."
"Unionizing with the WGAE gives the editorial employees at MTV News a strong voice on the job," said WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson. "We look forward to working closely with them to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that addresses their concerns and helps them build sustainable careers."
Said MTV, "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."
In addition to MTV News, the WGAE represents editorial staffs at The Huffington Post, Vice, Gizmodo Media Group, Fusion, The Root, ThinkProgress and Salon. The MTV organizing campaign is part of the WGAE's Writers Guild 2.0 campaign focusing on digital media, which now sees over 500 digital journalists covered by the WGAE.