New York, NY – The Atlantic’s business and technology workers announced the formation of a union. The unit called The Atlantic Union: Business & Technology is represented by The NewsGuild of New York.
Workers in the union are calling for more equity and diversity in the workplace, fair compensation, and meaningful professional development and growth opportunities for employees. The wall-to-wall 130-person unit covers workers overseeing the tech infrastructure and business operations of The Atlantic, including data scientists, analysts, software engineers, product managers, project managers, assistants, designers, in-house creative studio, sales and marketing, and customer care employees.
I love The Atlantic and its values of generosity and belonging,” said Katie Simpson, Executive Assistant to the Publisher & Chief Revenue Officer and SVP of Partnerships and AtlanticLIVE at The Atlantic. “I’m organizing for a workplace that continues to honor those values, where my colleagues’ diversity, talents, time, and energy are respected and supported through transparency and pay equity.”
Workers are also calling for a stronger say in the company’s digital and revenue strategy, particularly when it comes to advertisers. The Atlantic has been working to grow its digital audience and consumer revenue, launching a paywall in 2019 and a refresh of its app in the same year, followed by an Android app in 2021. As part of its growth strategy, The Atlantic has made agreements with major corporations to sponsor ads on the site, including in newsletters and other content.
“I support unions because I’ve witnessed environments where designers, engineers, copywriters, and strategists worked too hard for too little,” said Alex Barton, Senior Product Designer at The Atlantic. “I believe our union will guarantee staff receive the respect other workplaces disregard.”
Efforts to form unions among tech workers in media are accelerating as the industry transitions to a digital-first model, particularly at storied legacy publications:
• In March of this year, New York Times tech workers overwhelmingly voted to form a union with the NewsGuild of New York, following a year-long campaign that was met with aggressive union-busting tactics from management.
• Also in March, employees of Condé Nast’s editorial brands and Condé Nast Entertainment, including workers on the video and production teams, announced the formation of the Condé Nast Union. The union has yet to be voluntarily recognized by management.