Schneck: Why I Chose a Union Voice at Thrillist

Labor News

Photo by Anthony Schneck

Reprinted from the AFL-CIO’s blog Now by Anthony Schneck on April 6, 2017.

“Shortly after news broke that Thrillist had secured a $100 million investment as part of a deal to merge with three other digital properties and create a new media behemoth, a few of us on the editorial staff began discussing the possibility of unionizing,” writes Anthony Schneck for the AFL-CIO’s blog Now. “We’d watched the process play out in digital media for the first time at Gawker (now Gizmodo), followed by Vice, Huffington Post and others. But, as one colleague put it in those early days, Thrillist seemed like a place where there was too much turnover, too little cohesion to make any serious attempt at organizing realistic.

“That’s more or less how I felt, too—everyone tried to keep a nostril above water in the endless sea of internet content, we were on our own and I still felt ‘new,’ even though I’d worked at Thrillist more than a year. On top of it all, I had zero organizing experience. But after we received assurances that no one would lose their jobs in the wake of the new investment (the proverbial kiss of death), those of us who’d talked decided there wasn’t much to lose. In a job where the product is instant, ephemeral, subject to the whims of a Facebook or Google algorithm, unionizing offered us a chance to create a lasting structure to secure benefits that easily fall by the wayside in an industry that, as we saw, makes money. …

AFL-CIO now 4/6

About Jeffrey Burman 1895 Articles

Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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