Fortune workers stage walkout over claims of unfair labor practices

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Fortune’s unionized staffers staged a 24-hour work stoppage on Tuesday over unfair pay practices and other concerns.

Roughly 35 writers, copy editors and other members of the News Guild stopped working at 9 a.m. on Tuesday over what the union says is the company’s efforts to encourage its members to keep their salaries secret. This has created a wage disparity that has women staffers earning 84 percent of what men make, and workers of color making 78 percent what their white colleagues do, the union said.

The work stoppage is also meant to protest the business magazine’s failure to come to the bargaining table on diversity and for implementing a new performance evaluation system without first negotiating with the union.

“They refuse to bargain in good faith,” said Ray Makhayekki, a Fortune staffer at a Zoom press conference about the walkout.

“Management has been slowing the process and refusing to respond to a lot of our proposals,” added McKenna Moore, a union rep and an assistant audience engagement editor at the publication. “Quite frankly, we’re done with playing nicely.”

Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon purchased Fortune from Meredith for $150 million in Dec. 2018 and increased the editorial staff by 44 percent in the first year of ownership, growing it to 85 journalists worldwide, including 70 in the US.

But once the pandemic hit in March 2020, Fortune cut back 35 total staffers worldwide and cut pay for top management by 30 percent.

A Fortune representative had not responded by the time of writing.

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