NBC digital news division officially unionizes

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Employees of NBC’s digital news division announced Friday that they have officially unionized.

The employees announced they will form a union through the NewsGuild of New York after winning an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by a 90-40 vote. 

“Together, our newsroom decided by a strong majority to unite and collectively make our voices heard,” the employees tweeted. “As we enter contract negotiations, we look forward to working to ensure everyone within our unit is seen, represented, and given a seat at the table.” 

“We are stronger together, and we can’t wait to make NBC News Digital more equitable and fair for all. The work continues, but today we celebrate! #UnionStrong.”

The employees first announced their intention to unionize in October over concerns about how NBC News had handled issues of sexual misconduct and diversity. 

The move came after the company was thrust into the spotlight over a report that at least seven women who had alleged sexual harassment or discrimination at work had signed nondisclosure agreements with NBC News. The company later announced that all former employees would be released from that arrangement.

“Recent weeks have highlighted serious questions as to how NBC News has handled incidents of sexual misconduct in the workplace as well as the opaque processes and procedures for reporting on and exposing powerful predators,” the digital employees said in October.

“This lack of transparency and NBC News’ troubling trend of passing on stories which investigate the powerful ultimately harm our credibility as journalists,” they added, referring to reports that NBC News passed on stories regarding disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. 

The employees also said they will work through their union to push NBC News to close race and gender wage gaps, address understaffing and increase overall transparency, adding that management had already expressed openness to granting select pay raises and expanding vacation time, among other things.

“We welcome this dialogue from within our digital organization, and any constructive conversation aimed at building the future of NBC News Digital and ensuring that we’re the best we can be,” Chris Berend, the executive vice president of digital at NBC News, said in a memo at the time.

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