Editorial staff of Washingtonian organizing a union

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The editorial staff of the Washingtonian, a magazine based in Washington, D.C., is forming a union. 

In a statement published Wednesday, the newsroom of the publication said it is aiming to “ensure that every member of our team feels they have a voice” and asked leadership to recognize its union. 

“For the past 56 years, Washingtonian has been a vital authority on the DC region. As editors, writers, and creatives, we know that the strength of Washingtonian is the strength of its staff,” the union said. “We care too deeply about the future of our magazine and industry not to have a say in the decisions that shape them. Collectively, we can ensure that Washingtonian will thrive for the next 56 years and beyond.” 

Among the issues the newsroom is advocating for is fair compensation, a healthy office culture and a diverse and inclusive newsroom that reflects the community. 
Washingtonian CEO and President Cathy Merrill issued a public apology earlier this summer after newsroom staffers staged an online strike over a column she wrote in The Washington Post saying employees who still want to work remotely after COVID-19 bans are lifted might be reclassified as contractors by some employers.
“As members of the Washingtonian editorial staff, we want our CEO to understand the risks of not valuing our labor,” senior editor Andrew Beaujon said after the op-ed was published. “We are dismayed by Cathy Merrill’s public threat to our livelihoods. We will not be publishing today.”
 “I have assured our team that there will be no changes to benefits or employee status,” Merrill said in her apology. “I am sorry if the op-ed made it appear like anything else.”  
Tags American journalism journalism unions Washingtonian

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