After months of negotiations and charges of hypocrisy, Media Matters for America will finally live up to its commitment to Big Labor and hold a union election.
The liberal behemoth will allow the politically powerful SEIU to conduct a secret ballot election to unionize its staff, reversing a controversial decision to challenge union access to the workplace.
Recent Stories in Issues
"The employees of Media Matters will soon be holding an election to vote to formally recognize SEIU as our union," the Media Matters Organizing Committee announced on Thursday. "We have worked very hard towards this goal and look forward to sitting down with management to negotiate our first union contract."
Media Matters did not respond to request for comment.
Media Matters founder and Hillary Clinton attack dog David Brock has pledged to remain neutral throughout the election process.
"Management at Media Matters have promised to abide by their pro-union principles and have indicated they will be taking a position of absolute neutrality with respect to our decision to hold a union election. By committing to neutrality, management has strengthened the work of this organization," the organizing committee said.
Neutrality agreements gives the union, which spent months conducting a card check campaign among Media Matters staffers, a leg up in the secret ballot election. When SEIU organizers first approached Media Matters management with the results of its card check campaign—the union claimed to have a majority—the executives failed to reply to the request and later hired powerful management-side labor attorneys to resist the unionization.
The resolution brings an end to a tense civil war on the left. Media Matters has published several pieces over the years slamming businesses and politicians who did not walk the Big Labor line. The organization has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from unions between 2009 and 2012, including $150,000 from the SEIU.
The big money donations helped finance sympathetic press coverage from Media Matters employees. A 2013 post said that secret ballot elections were "deeply flawed" and measures taken against card check legislation were "anti-union." MoveOn.org posted a petition slamming Media Matters’ hypocrisy.
"Media Matters publicly claims that unions ‘increase productivity,’ ‘reduce inequality,’ and ‘deliver positive benefits for the broader economy,’ but then oppose a union when their own employees want one," the petition says. "Media Matters executives are damaging the progressive movement and they need to stop," the petition said.
Members of the organizing committee, which is made up of pro-union employees, said that Media Matters’ decision to honor the election petition will restore the organization’s credibility.
"Media Matters has always advocated for the power of the labor movement, and emphasized the critical role that unions play in building a strong middle class and supporting workplace democracy. The Organizing Committee and our supporters have always seen forming a union as a reflection of those principles," the Thursday statement said. "In forming a union, we are affirming our commitment to the goals of social and economic justice."
It is unclear when the election will take place. The SEIU did not respond to requests for comment.