Today, content creators at Al Jazeera English, based in the United States, voted overwhelmingly to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union -- with 97 percent voting in favor.
WASHINGTON — Today, content creators at Al Jazeera English, based in the United States, voted overwhelmingly to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union ̶ with 97 percent voting in favor. The election was conducted by mail ballot and votes were counted this afternoon by the National Labor Relations Board. The victory allows them to move forward to negotiate a first contract.
“I want to extend a warm welcome to the media professionals at Al Jazeera English on their decision to join SAG-AFTRA,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “It is imperative, particularly in these challenging times, that we ensure those responsible for informing our country and the world by reporting the news are protected. We at SAG-AFTRA are committed to standing with these media professionals in their fight for fair wages, workplace safety including while traveling, benefits and workplace accountability.”
The newly formed nationwide bargaining unit will be made up of 66 U.S.-based employees including hosts, reporters, editors, and camerapersons who create content for the news, programming, and investigative units.
The Al Jazeera English union organizing committee released the following statement, “We the employees of Al Jazeera English are excited to finally have our union confirmed by a National Labor Relations Board election, with SAG-AFTRA as our collective bargaining representative. We are equally excited and optimistic about working with Al Jazeera Media Network management in negotiating fair wages and benefits, work-life balance, workplace equality, accountability and opportunity.
“We now feel that we have a seat at the table and hope that Al Jazeera English will meet us there to negotiate what is best for both the company and its employees. We hope that this will be the beginning of a dialogue in which we are free to discuss many of the major concerns employees have today.
“Al Jazeera Media Network is an award-winning global news operation that has been made better by the journalists who work tirelessly to uphold a commitment to unbiased truth. Al Jazeera English can only be made even better by truly exercising its founding principles of ‘giving voice to the voiceless.’
“Today in an overwhelming vote we were given that voice and we trust that management will hear us as we move forward together in formally negotiating a collective bargaining agreement.”
Since 2006, Al Jazeera English has been part of a growing network comprising of more than 10 channels or divisions. Each subsidiary in the Al Jazeera Media Network follows the same principles and values that inspire it to be challenging and bold, and to provide a voice for the voiceless in some of the most unreported places on the planet. Al Jazeera English programs that will now be covered by SAG-AFTRA include the recent Emmy award-winning show Fault Lines, The Stream, Witness, UpFrontand People & Power, to name a few.