The editorial staff of The Ringer announced this morning that they have formed a union with the WGA East. In their letter of intent, Ringer staffers said they want to negotiate with management for improvements in areas such as compensation, benefits, severance, diversity, and the establishment of a 401k program. Now they just have to wait and see if they will be voluntarily granted a seat at the bargaining table.
Before the collective bargaining process can begin, the union must be officially recognized by management. In a Twitter thread announcing their organizing effort, Ringer employees made it clear that they expect their union to be recognized:
Voluntary recognition of a union is a show of good faith from management, and also the bare minimum amount of respect a boss can show to his or her employees after they’ve decided to unionize. A refusal to recognize a union is not only a shameless stalling tactic—one recently deployed by Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti, who wanted to haggle over which employees should be allowed to be in the union—but also an indication that management doesn’t value its employees enough to agree to collectively bargain with them. Without voluntary recognition, a union has to win a secret-ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board in order to begin bargaining. All bosses are sticklers at the negotiating table, but only the worst bosses refuse to willingly pull up a chair in the first place.
Which type of boss is Ringer CEO Bill Simmons? He has yet to make any kind of public statement about his employees unionizing, and he has not responded to our request for comment. Sources tell us that he was made aware of the union’s formation late last week.
Bill, recognize the union!
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