Fortune files formal complaints against NewsGuild union

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Fortune magazine has filed a formal complaint against the NewsGuild of New York with the National Labor Relations Board, a day after staffers staged a one-day walkout at the publication. 

Lawyers for Fortune shared the complaint with the union earlier Thursday and union leaders subsequently planned a meeting for the same evening to decide how to respond, a union representative said.  

Many of the 13 charges listed in the filing concern the way in which the union has conducted negotiations with the company. 

Among the charges were complaints of engaging in piecemeal bargaining, of not negotiating mandatory subjects, of breaching or unilateral withdrawing agreements, of circumventing the employer’s authorized negotiators and failing to come prepared to respond to mandatory subjects or requests. 

“Fortune would prefer to resolve all of its differences with the Fortune Union at the bargaining table and has, until yesterday, resisted filing unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board—though we have brought the Union’s unlawful activity to the Union’s attention in writing on several occasions,” the company said in a statement. “We remain committed to bargaining with the Union in good faith and are confident that we will be able to reach an agreement.”
On Wednesday, 34 of the magazine’s editorial employees in New York staged a walkout to spur on negotiations that the union said have been dragging on since 2019. Fortune has approximately 100 U.S. employees, according to its complaint.

The walkout was also meant to protest specific management actions that the union called out in its own complaint to the NLRB. 

Specifically, the union critiqued Fortune’s creation of a management-dominated diversity council, its request that workers keep salaries secret, and the creation of a new performance evaluation system without union input, all of which it said, violates either labor law or the workers’ status quo rights.

Gannett, the largest newspaper chain the U.S., is also experiencing labor conflict in its newsrooms.

Earlier this month, several House and Senate Democrats sent a letter to the company asking it to stop anti-union efforts at three New Jersey newspapers including The Record, its online counterpart, The Daily Record and New Jersey Herald.


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