‘Marketplace’ employees vote in favor of joining SAG-AFTRA union

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A group of employees who work for American Public Media’s Marketplace voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to be represented by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union.

The bargaining unit, which includes more than 45 reporters, correspondents, producers, editors and hosts, approved joining the union in an election held by the National Labor Relations Board. According to the union’s organizing committee, 97% of respondents voted to unionize.

When staffers brought their petition to management in December, the union said, more than 70% of workers signed the recognition petition.

“We are excited to finally have a seat at the table, and to improve Marketplace for all employees, present and future,” the union’s organizing committee said in a statement. “This has been a very long road for all of us, but we’re heartened by how much closer together this process has brought us. We look forward to strengthening our workplace and continuing our mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country. Today, we prove that none of us is as strong as all of us.”

“American Public Media leadership and Marketplace management respect our employees’ rights to seek third-party representation through a free and fair process,” an American Public Media spokesperson said in a statement. “We have honored the policies and procedures of this process as outlined by the National Labor Relations Board and will negotiate with the union, once certified, in good faith.”

“Over the last several months, employees across MPR/APM have confronted leadership over the organization’s long history of diversity and equity issues and difficult working conditions that have led to high turnover and low morale,” the union said in a statement posted on Twitter in December. “As a union, staff members hope to work with management to build an inclusive workplace, where workers are compensated fairly and transparently.”

The workers will make up the latest SAG-AFTRA bargaining unit under the American Public Media Group umbrella, joining employees at The Current, Classical MPR and other divisions. 

Last year, a union committee of a separate group of APM and Minnesota Public Radio employees published a letter in which they said the company had fostered a “harmful working environment” for women and journalists of color.

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