Yesterday, members of The NewsGuild of New York, representing over 3,000 media professionals in New York City, united on social media against media companies and their anti-union law firms to demand #JustCauseNoExceptions. Just cause — an industry and labor standard that guarantees a worker’s right to due process and fair representation in disciplinary situations — is under threat as media industry employers try to significantly weaken or eliminate these contractual protections altogether with a so-called editorial exception.
At a time when employees across the industry are demanding transparency and accountability, employers are pushing for contract language that would allow them to make anything, from “tone” to vague performance goals, into a failure to adhere to editorial standards. Essentially, this exception lets management discipline employees with impunity, denying due process or review under the guise of managerial discretion in exercising subjective editorial judgment.
“Even before the start of this pandemic, media companies and their lawyers were mounting an unprecedented campaign against the very idea of just cause in journalism,” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “Without just cause, a culture of silence will become the norm in our workplaces. We’re fighting to ensure fairness and equity — particularly in this time when our Black colleagues and colleagues of color are challenging media power structures — by maintaining this essential safeguard against unjust discipline.” Follow the campaign using #JustCauseNoExemptions!
Workers’ World Today is a free publication that empowers all workers, regardless of social or political affiliations. Distributed throughout New York City, our paper has a mission to educate workers and provide them with relevant information pertinent to the workforce such as workers’ compensation, discrimination on the job, workers’ rights, and more.