Media Matters Obstructs Efforts by Staff to Unionize

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 11:05 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Media Matters for America, the liberal nonprofit group that supports unions and workplace organizing, is fighting an effort by its own employees for unionization.

According to the Washington Examiner, talks between the Service Employees International Union Local 500 and the watchdog group came to a standstill late last week, and the MMFA is hiring lawyers to take up the matter.

"We are disappointed Media Matters is taking this route," Christopher Honey, spokesman for the union, told the Examiner.

Earlier this month, the SEIU had filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board charging that Media Matters stopped a move to unionize its workers. At the time, the organization said, "We respect the rights of our employees and will work through this process."

Media Matters, which started in 2004 with the financial backing of sources tied to the Democratic Party, has long been outspoken on behalf of organized labor efforts.

"Right-wing media outlets who have long engaged in a campaign to demonize organized labor may be contributing to economic inequality, as economists point to declining union participation as one cause of the growing economic rift in America," the group said in a post on its website earlier this year.

"Unions and union workers have been a consistent target for right-wing media figures who have attacked organized labor as a leech on society and destroyer of jobs."

In response to a question about whether the organization was "actively opposing" unionization, Media Matters told the Examiner it was not but declined to elaborate on how it was responding to Local 500's bid.

The group has hired Perkins Coie, a law firm that specializes in labor disputes, according to the Examiner.

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