Staff at Canadaland, an independent podcast network and news organization, have officially filed for union certification.
Media union CWA Canada filed today with the Canada Industrial Relations Board after all non-management workers signed union cards.
“We, the workers of Canadaland, believe that forming a union is the best path forward — not just for us, but for the company as a whole. We will benefit from clear policies setting out organizational structure, editorial vision, and concrete measures for achieving greater diversity in our workplace and programming.”
The filing is part of a wave of unionization in the North American news industry. Workers at digital outlets VICE, BuzzFeed, and National Observer, as well as broadcaster APTN, are members of CWA Canada.
CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon welcomed the Canadaland workers, saying unionizing will be good for staff, for the company, and for journalism.
“As things have changed dramatically in the news industry, one thing has become abundantly clear: it is more important than ever that media workers have a say in their work and in their workplace,” O’Hanlon said. “The best way to improve quality, morale, and diversity is to give workers a stronger voice and the power to negotiate.”
Canadaland Union Mission Statement
Over the past seven years, Canadaland has grown into one of the country’s premier podcast companies and one of its few sustainable journalism start-ups.
We, the workers of Canadaland, are proud of the effort and creativity that have gone into making this possible. In order to ensure that success continues, we believe that forming a union is the best path forward — not just for us, but for the company as a whole.
The company’s own mission statement emphasizes the collective building of a “healthy, sustainable, cooperative, diverse, and equitable work culture, in which we offer fair pay, equal pay for equal work, health benefits, co-ownership, training, opportunities for advancement, and creative expression.” We believe a union is a necessary extension of that mission and an essential tool for building the healthy work culture we all have a part in creating.
This will only become more important as Canadaland grows, thanks to new and exciting opportunities and investment. Alongside this growth, we believe that a union will help our small company implement systems and standards to reduce turnover and burnout, increase productivity, and provide capacity within each position for exploration and growth. We will benefit from clear policies setting out organizational structure, editorial vision, and concrete measures for achieving greater diversity in our workplace and programming.
Forming a union will help us do our jobs better. By forming a union at a time when the company is growing, we believe we’re setting up Canadaland and its workers for success in the long run. This process will help us build upon our work, and the work of those who’ve come through here before us, to create a more stable, sustainable, and equitable future for the company.
Canadaland’s mission is to serve its supporters. Ultimately, we believe this union will help us to serve our patrons, and our audience at large, even better.
This post was originally published on CWA Canada’s website on June 25, 2020 and appears here with its permission.
CWA Canada is the country’s only all-media union, representing 6,000 workers, including at the CBC, The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters, VICE Canada, and newspapers coast to coast, including several Postmedia publications.