I don't see why the industry needs a union. I think more than anything there are just too many people working in the industry (between people who couldn't cut it in business school and lax hiring...

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Whenever a union contract is negotiated, it does not become official until a majority of the members vote to approve it. If you were presented with a contract that offers you less in raises and improved benefits than you were paying in union dues, you could vote it down. Pretty straightforward. To your larger point, I would simply say that working people everywhere and always have more power negotiating collectively than individually. This fact also applies to you and your industry .

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"Too many people in the industry" is exactly why we need to organize. The exact same thing happened to pharmacists. A union empowers us to fight against bosses just grabbing enthusiastic office workers who've "always wanted to be creatives." For less pay.

United we bargain. Divided we beg.

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Criteria). How can unionizing help with this?

Also, do unions typically mean more dollars back in my pocket? If I'm dishing out $500-1000 a year for union fees then what should I expect from that?

Specific to advertising, what's to stop brands from just bringing work in house to counteract unions?

Maybe you're not feeling hardship in your particular agency, however I remember interviewing for my first position out of grad school (and I was offered 28k/year to work 80 hours a week). I could not possibly live in NYC for that little money and those hours because I would have needed to commute so far that I wouldn't get adequate sleep (perhaps that's a health consequence you're okay with, but the science is in on sleep deprivation and I'm not okay with that). Luckily I landed a much higher paying position at another agency, and the hours were better, but I know some people are in terrible situations at their agencies and I have empathy for them as the same nearly happened to me.

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Additional Posts in Unions & Advertising - a Q&A

What can we do to help unionize this industry? I hear a lot of talk about it, but are there specific actionable steps we can take?

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If we finally get unionized, do you think we can get title seniority standardized? I’m seeing people go from Junior to Creative Director in less than five years, yet don’t have actual CD duties.

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Totally agree that once the first agency is unionized it gets easier for everyone else. But what’s to prevent agencies from firing the first person to try, or blackball them from the industry?

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So say Nike (or any brand the whole world bends backwards for) gives the opp to an agency to pitch for them next week with night and weekend work. If we’re unionized, we can’t work for Nike? (Cont)

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My biggest issue with freelancing is feeling like a constant outsider. Agency’s are notoriously cliquish among full timers, so imagine what it feels like for an outsider...I mean a freelancer.

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I like the idea of unionizing, but wouldn't our agencies just fire us if we tried to organize?

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Do you miss the PR beat and writing on Ronn (sic)?

Would it be advantageous to create a larger guild like the NYC NewsGuild (who organized with CWA) so that multiple companies could unionize together through the same framework?

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As a freelancer, one of the big issues is agencies booking people and then cancelling day of.

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I’m all in. How do I start? Who do I talk to? Do I have to contact a professional organizer in my state?

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My biggest question about unionizing in the agency world is they close to half of us are “management.” I’m not totally sure how draw the line between labor and management at an agency.

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A fair number of my coworkers are international and already are held hostage by their visa status. In what ways might this complicate our organizing efforts?

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I’ve been switching between freelance and staff for 10 years. During that time, salaries have gone down, but freelance has gone up. With NYC laws now requiring healthcare, prompt payment, and (cont)

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