Staffers with NBC News Digital voted to unionize, they announced Wednesday, in a move the employees hope will help provide them “a collective voice in decisions that will benefit the entire company, providing much-needed transparency, and ensuring a safer workplace.”
“We seek to build a more equitable workplace in order to enhance the quality and breadth of our journalism and continue to work in the newsroom that we love,” the NBC News Guild said in a statement.
In a memo to staff responding to the announcement, NBC executive vice president of digital Chris Berend sounded an initially conciliatory note.
“I want you to know we are deeply committed to a fair and healthy workplace for all our employees,” said Berend. “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.”
The guildmembers said they were moved to unionize in part because of NBC‘s mishandling of racist incidents and incidents of sexual harassment and assault, a major topic of news in recent weeks with the publication of journalist Ronan Farrow’s book “Catch and Kill.” The book details how the company deprioritized Farrow’s reporting on former Hollywood producer and alleged serial rapist Harvey Weinstein in order to protect former NBC personality Matt Lauer from exposure from allegations of multiple instances of rape and sexual harassment.
“NBC News has mishandled serious incidents of sexual misconduct and racism without the transparency and sensitivity such issues require,” the guild’s statement said. “We have seen the company repeatedly invest in on-air talent and PR management, while mental health support, digital and physical security, and individual professional development remain underemphasized and underfunded.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT