Staffers at Al Jazeera America (AJAM) have once again voted to be represented by the NewsGuild of New York. The additional election, overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, was necessary after AJAM management didn’t voluntarily recognize the unionization effort.
Despite the vote, the fight isn’t over. AJAM management is claiming that nine journalists—various team leaders and junior editors—do not have the right to join the union. The Guild has promised to defend the journalists at the National Labor Relations Board should AJAM management maintain its position.
In a statement, AJAM management said it only forced a vote to “ensure that every employee of Al Jazeera America’s Digital Department could have a say about union representation and we respect the decision they have reached through this democratic vote.”
Update (5:10 pm):
AJAM management has dropped its opposition to the nine journalists. “We are pleased that Al Jazeera management has decided to do the right thing by its employees and drop their attempt to exclude 9 journalists from having a voice in the newsroom,” said NewsGuild president Peter Szekely, in a statement. “The desire to form a union was led by journalists who are deeply committed to Al Jazeera’s mission. We look forward to a constructive bargaining process and achieving a contract that will help build on the great work already being done in the Al Jazeera newsroom.”