Huffington Post writers are leaving for the holidays disappointed after an effort to convince HuffPost management to pay a progressive living wage failed.
The news comes on the heels of a social media campaign called #HuffPostUnion, which trended among left-leaning journalists, designed to call attention to stalled contract negotiations at the Yahoo-owned media company.
According to the journalism trade site, Scribblers, HuffPost’s bigwigs wouldn’t even come to the bargaining table, and refused any concessions to its writers.
— Alissa Scheller (@alissascheller) December 16, 2016
“The newsroom union submitted a proposal of staggered pay increases over a three-year contract period,” Scribblers reported. “Management came back though, with an answer that shocked staff. Not only was the proposed pay increase rejected, there would be zero pay raises. Period. And they didn’t plan on negotiating.”
One union representative commented that they’d never seen such a reluctance to pay writers, except from media companies teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.
Yahoo purchased the Huffington Post in 2011, paying more than $300 million for the “progressive” news organization. It’s still listed among the top 50 sites in the United States, but, this year, lost editor-in-chief and founder Arianna Huffington to a medical startup in New York City.
Since coming under Yahoo’s rule, however, the site has struggled with how (and whether) to pay its content producers. Last year, it tangled with top-shelf bloggers over whether “exposure” counted as compensation – even though it has published hundreds of articles on the benefits of a living wage, the need to increase the minimum wage, and the shortsightedness of politicians unwilling to address the wage issue.
The hypocrisy didn’t go unnoticed.
— justJolie (@JolieRancher) December 16, 2016
Huffington Post released a statement saying that despite the conflict, they hope to work things out. They say they are “deeply committed to [their] employees and to reaching a deal with the union,” and that they will continue to “negotiate in good faith with them.”