Pageant Media Workers' Guild charges Pageant Media with unfair labor practices

Today, the Pageant Media Workers’ Guild is filing an unfair labor practice charge against Pageant Media. Our unit, which represents the New York-based editorial and production staff of the company, has faced increasing and illegal challenges from management that has unilaterally assigned National Labor Relations Board-certified unit work outside of our union. As a result, Pageant is violating its obligations to bargain in good faith. 

Before suffering layoffs in July 2020, PMWG won our election with 83% of the vote and an overwhelming majority of support to improve working conditions for the New York newsroom. Since then, Pageant has systematically and illegally moved full-time roles out of the newsroom, stretching the unit thin and ensuring the workers hired to do those jobs cannot rely on the protection of the union. Management also indicated on a recent company-wide call it will stop hiring editorial workers in New York because they are too expensive.

As a result of these actions, the unit has not had a new full-time hire in 12 months, even though several unit members have left the company and their work is still being performed by non-union workers. Our membership has fallen from 24 to 15. One publication has been without a full-time editor since July; another publication has been without a full-time editor since October. By law, these roles are union jobs and deserve the protections the union is bargaining for.

On March 26, we contacted Pageant in good faith and demanded immediate remedy to multiple illegal practices. Our notice went without a response until this week, when Pageant told our bargaining team it denied any wrongdoing. It still has not rescinded any of its actions. When PMWG won certification, Pageant said it looked forward to a constructive working relationship with us, but so far it has failed to demonstrate its sincerity.

We stand in solidarity with the non-unit workers who have been assigned unit work. They are all talented and dedicated journalists who have been dropped into a complex and unlawful situation by the company. The full-time workers Pageant has hired to fill positions unlawfully deserve the opportunity to take on other assignments within the company. 

However, as a union, we need to ensure workers retain their legally mandated protections. The company has left us with no alternative but to pursue legal action. We hope this can be resolved swiftly and properly and the company will start to negotiate with us in good faith.