We hear that New York magazine hosted a union-busting meeting yesterday for top managers, where lawyers from a pricey anti-union firm advised them on how to talk to staff about unions (meaning: how to dissuade staff from unionizing).
New York, owned by the heirs of Bruce Wasserstein, is currently for sale. The editorial staff of the magazine is currently not unionized, but management clearly sees fit to get out ahead of the issue. We hear that lawyers from Proskauer Rose, a prominent management-side labor law firm, held a meeting today to instruct managers from across the company about the finer points of anti-union behavior. Though often billed as purely informational, the purpose of these sorts of meetings is invariably to teach managers how to tell employees not to unionize without being charged with violations of labor law. Such union-busting seminars are de rigeur in American anti-union companies and other organizations that wish to scare or mislead their employees away from the idea of organizing. Most of those companies do not publish quite so much progressive journalism, though.
We have asked the company for comment and will update this post if we receive one. If you know more about anti-union behavior at New York magazine, email me. Anonymity guaranteed.
Update: New York spokesperson Lauren Starke sends this comment: “As more digital media publishers see union organizing efforts, we held a training session for managers about how the labor law works, and what discussions it allows and restricts between managers and employees should future efforts come up at New York Media.”