The trend of digital news outlets unionizing doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Late Wednesday, ThinkProgress, the progressive site for left-leaning news, agreed to voluntarily recognize the Writers Guild of America, East union as the collective bargaining representative for its editorial staffers—a decision that gave the journalists a union without secret-ballot election.
In a letter informing management of their decision, the organization’s journalists said that ThinkProgress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, where the outlet is housed, “have long publicized the many benefits of unionization for individual workers, the middle and working class, and the economy as a whole.” The staffers also said in the letter having a union will help them “protect and elevate the good conditions we currently enjoy in our workplace, both for ourselves and for all who come after us.” The security they believe a union offers, “will ensure we continue to create the cutting-edge, high-quality, and editorially independent journalism ThinkProgress is known for long into the future.”
ThinkProgress’s unionization follows organizing efforts at other web-based publications. Earlier this month, Al Jazeera America announced that a majority of their newsroom had petitioned to join the NewsGuild of New York that’s part of the Communication Workers of America union. In August, writers at Vice Media voted to join the Writers’ Guild of America following the lead of journalists at Gawker and Salon, who also voted to unionize in June and July, respectively. That trend—that’s motivated in part by digital journalists’ pursuit of the relatively stable environments and pay scale associated with more traditional media outlets—comes during a decline in overall union membership. It’s at its lowest point—11.1%—since 1983, the first year with comparable date, when the rate was 20.1%.