Hearst Magazines staffers have voted to form a union

D Dipasupil/Getty Images for AWXIITroy Young.
  • Hearst Magazines’ print and digital staffers voted to form a union.
  • The election via mail ballot and was administered by the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB).
  • The union at Hearst, which publishes some of the industry’s best-known titles including Cosmopolitan and Esquire, is a big win for the Writers Guild of America East, with some 500 people across 24 brands represented.
  • The vote followed heavy opposition from Hearst Magazines leadership and the departure of its president Troy Young after a New York Times report of harassment and “toxic” culture at the company.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hearst Magazines’ digital and print staff voted 241-83 to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). This election took place via mail ballot and was administered by the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB).

The union at Hearst, which publishes some of the industry’s best-known titles including Cosmopolitan and Esquire, is a big win for the Writers Guild of America East, with some 500 people across 24 brands represented.

The vote came after months of heavy opposition by Hearst Magazines leadership and comes amid a wave of unionization sweeping media companies.

It also follows the recent departure of Hearst Magazines’ president Troy Young after a New York Times report of harassment and “toxic” culture under his leadership. Similar reckonings are taking place throughout the media and ad industries.

Hearst Magazines’ staff outlined a plan to seek contract that addresses issues like diversity, transparency, compensation, and editorial standards, according to the Guild.

“Hundreds of us across 28 brands and several states voted for a fairer and more transparent workplace, and we can’t wait to bring this energy to the negotiating table,” the Hearst Magazines Organising Committee said in a statement.

“We’ve been listening to our editorial teams’ aspirations for the company and will continue to address and act on them. Now, it’s time to forge a path forward together, to maintain Hearst Magazines’ focus on innovation and long tradition of creating highly informative, engaging content,” a Hearst Magazines spokesperson said. “We remain committed to providing an equitable work environment that embraces diversity, transparency, fair compensation and best-in-class editorial standards.”

Read more about the events that led up to the vote:

Hearst staffers just won the go-ahead to hold a union election. Here’s how the company’s effort to modernise its antiquated magazine business stressed out employees and led them to unionize

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.