Creative and editorial workers at the gaming and entertainment publication IGN have gone public with their effort to unionize with the NewsGuild.
Eighty-seven percent of slightly more than 80 workers at the Los Angeles-based site signed union cards signaling their support for unionizing, the NewsGuild announced on Tuesday. The group said it is requesting voluntary recognition from owner Ziff Davis, which also operates Mashable, Lifehacker, PCMag.com and AskMen. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Ziff Davis for comment.
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The group cited the current turbulence and mass layoffs in the media business as one of its key reasons for organizing. “At a time when our industry faces so much uncertainty amid mass layoffs and the rise of
generative AI, it’s more important than ever for us to ensure IGN remains a great place to work not just today, but for the future IGN that doesn’t exist yet,” senior reporter Rebekah Valentine said in a statement.
By unionizing, the workers are also attempting to secure pay raises, “affordable” health insurance, layoff protections, new diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and contractual language addressing the use of AI in the workplace, according to a petition disseminated by the group. The workers also raised concerns about receiving adequate rest periods after periods spent working long hours and said they wanted supervisors to receive management training and workers to have “clear paths for career growth.” Moreover, “we must avoid future mismanaged pivots and reorgs, as well as address the ethical editorial concerns that have grown with the acquisition of sponsorship-focused subsidiaries,” the group said.
“IGN has always been about its community, and its workers are at the heart of that. I hope Ziff Davis and IGN management hear that community now,” streaming editor Amelia Emberwing said in a statement.
The unionization push at the publication arrives at a time of increased union activity in online and news media as layoffs roil the industry and companies pursue AI initiatives. Unions at both Condé Nast (owner of Vanity Fair and Vogue) and the Los Angeles Times initiated walkouts in the last few weeks in response to layoffs. Workers at The Onion, The A.V. Club and Deadspin, meanwhile, threatened a strike over stalled contract negotiations before management and their union reached a deal at the last minute.
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