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CBS News Digital Workers Unionize With Writers Guild East

Writers and editors at CBS News Digital have unionized with the Writers Guild of America East.

The 46-person group have asked for voluntary recognition of the bargaining unit. The WGAE says that an “overwhelming majority of the unit” signed on the union drive.

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The bargaining unit covers workers at CBS News digital platforms including CBSNews.com, its mobile website, social media channels and the CBS News app.

“The WGAE already represents workers at CBS News and CBS News Streaming, and it is incumbent on CBS’s management to recognize CBS News Digital’s demand for voluntary recognition of their union,” said Kathy McGee, WGAE VP of broadcast/cable/streaming news and a writer/producer at CBS News New York. “We are seeing unprecedented mergers, consolidation and layoffs in the news industry.  Journalists are telling stories and lifting voices in communities that are often ignored. The most responsible thing media workers can do is to form a union to win critical workplace protection.”

The unit explained why they wanted to join the union in a letter to management: “We love what we do and we are committed to working at CBS News,” the letter says. “We want to continue working and making a living in a tumultuous business, and we want the same commitment from CBS News. When we work together to address these issues, we are stronger as employees and it will make for a better product and workplace.”

The group cited transparency, equitable and fair compensation, diversity, and editorial standards as areas where they are hoping for clarity.

A CBS News spokesperson said in a statement, “We have great respect for our Digital News team and highly value their contributions to our organization. We are currently reviewing the matter and we look forward to working through this process.”

The WGA East’s broadcast/cable/streaming news division has in recent months helped cut new deals with units at MSNBC and at CBS News Streaming.

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