Media

Bernie Sanders stands ‘in solidarity’ with Vox staff after walkout

Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on Thursday he stood “in solidarity” with staff at New York-based Vox Media after they staged a walkout when its union could not agree to a new contract with company management.

“I stand in solidarity with @vox_union (@WGAEast) fighting for a fair contract,” the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful wrote on Twitter.  

{mosads}Sanders has backed a wide range of striking workers this year, including those from supermarket chain Stop & Shop, and has made improving working conditions and boosting the minimum wage a key part of his 2020 platform.

He’s due to rally on Sunday with McDonald’s workers who are demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

The support for Vox staff from the self-described democratic socialist comes after workers at the media company staged a walkout Thursday. 

“Today‘s our last scheduled day of bargaining,” wrote the Vox Media bargaining committee in a Twitter statement. “Vox Media is still apart from us on: competitive wage scales, strong guaranteed raises, better severance, subcontracting work.”

“We’ve decided we’re not showing up to work today until we resolve these issues,” the statement continues. “Our unit members are taking their sites dark today to show management how important these issues are to us.” 

The union also posted photos showing an empty Vox newsroom. 

  

Vox Media Chief Executive Officer Jim Bankoff wrote to staff expressing disappointment over the walkout, according to Bloomberg News.

“I couldn’t be more serious about reaching a fair and highly competitive agreement quickly,” Bankoff wrote in his email, according to Bloomberg.

“From the beginning, through every stage of our company’s growth, we have invested in our employees, as much as or ahead of where our company finances and industry outlook have allowed,” Bankoff also reportedly wrote.

He also said, however, that “while paying people a lot more than market wages sounds great on the surface, it’s not realistic or smart.” 

Vox Media did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.

Vox Media was founded in July 2005. It currently has six publications under its umbrella, including Vox, The Verge, SB Nation and Eater.

The company laid off 50 employees earlier this year, primarily in its video unit.

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