Here’s How NBC News and MSNBC Staff Are Protesting Recent Layoffs

By Mark Mwachiro 

NBC News and MSNBC employees are participating in a walkout to protest recent layoffs that affected the media conglomerate’s digital news team.

Over 200 employees represented by the NewsGuild of New York are expected to participate in the 24-hour walkout, which is scheduled for Thursday and includes a protest in New York outside NBC News’ headquarters at Rockefeller Center.

The NBC News Digital Union, which represents the affected staffers, has filed an unfair labor charge with the National Labor Relations Board over how NBC News handled the layoffs of seven of its union members in January.

According to The Washington Post’s Jeremy Barr, the union described the layoffs as “abrupt” and “illegal.” It claimed that MSNBC management told some digital staffers that they were no longer part of the union.

The NBC Guild chair Tate James says that the decision to walk out resulted from a growing belief that NBC News management is excluding the union from key employee matters, such as the process of negotiating layoffs and the terms of severance agreements.

The union also sent a letter addressed to NBC and MSNBC leadership saying that they need to act quickly by reinstating their colleagues, agreeing to their just cause proposal, “bargain a fair system for layoffs In the future, and begin to rebuild the trust that is necessary for our newsroom to be the best it can be.”

NBC News has countered their claims saying, ​​”We are disappointed by the Newsguild’s continued attempts to misrepresent the facts while we work in good faith with them to reach an agreement.”

This is not the only union issue MSNBC has to deal with. The New York Post reports that the Writer’s Guild of America signed a petition demanding that the cable news channel treats their colleagues “fairly” for their work.

MSNBC staff who write and produce for many of the network’s programs voted to join the union in 2021 and have been involved in negotiations for over a year. The union is seeking pay raises and is denouncing the long hours MSNBC staffers have to work.