Medium workers have announced they’re forming a union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 9410. The Medium Workers Union says more than 70 percent of eligible employees have already signed cards in support, currently representing 140 workers across editorial, engineering, design, and product, according to CNN.
The organization plans to negotiate a contract for its members. Right now, it’s asking Medium to voluntarily recognize the union. If the company refuses, the union can force recognition through the National Labor Relations Board as long as a majority of employees vote in favor of unionization.
The Medium Workers Union is not putting out a list of demands and says it didn’t organize around a single issue. “We’re creating infrastructure for workers at Medium to have their voices strengthened and amplified by each other, much like the way writers use Medium to amplify their words and ideas,” its website reads.
Historically, unions have organized around fair pay and benefits. More recently, however, they’ve gone after larger goals, like giving workers a say in business decisions.
The news comes a month after Google employees and contractors announced the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU), a group also affiliated with CWA. AWU is a solidarity union, meaning it’s not recognized by the NLRB and can’t force Google management to negotiate a contract for its members.
Medium, which hosts both a blogging platform and digital media outlets, sits at the corner of tech and journalism. In recent years, workers at Vice, Slate, BuzzFeed, and inVISION MEDIA Groups (which includes ThinkAuthority) have also announced plans to unionize. Now, the movement is growing in the tech industry, too.
In a section titled “our vision,” the Medium Workers Union says part of its goal is to bake social justice into the product. “Our platform’s mission aligns with the greater purpose of social good, and we invest in mitigating harm in a landscape of tech and media that has historically deprioritized user safety and combating misinformation,” the website reads.
The union also said it wants workers to have protections against harassment and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, body size, and disability. “We hold the company and its leaders accountable to their diversity and inclusion promises, and to maintaining an open door culture for marginalized workers to voice their concerns without fear of retaliation,” the website says.
In a statement emailed to ThinkAuthority, a Medium spokesperson wrote: “We’re aware that some employees have started to explore unionizing with the Communications Workers of America. This is an important matter that merits thoughtful consideration, and we are assessing the appropriate next steps.”