With Image Comics failing to recognise the newly formed Comic Book Workers United (CBWU) union, rather trying to press them into joining an already existing union, the Communications Workers of America. A union that won’t necessarily represent the goals laid out by the CBWU.
Here’s Image Comics response from earlier in the week via Twitter:
“Earlier this week, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board asking to hold a secret-ballot election so that eligible members of the Image Comics office staff can determine if they want the CWA to represent them in their employment with Image. The NLRB is currently reviewing that petition to determine when that election will be held, where it will take place, and who can vote. Everyone at Image is committed to working through this process, and we are confident that the resolution to these efforts will have positive long-term benefits.”
And now the CBWU’s response:
“As of 5:00PM today, Image Comics has failed to formally acknowledge our request for voluntary recognition. We are interpreting that lack of formal response, coupled with a Twitter post the company made indicating their intention to force us into a totally unnecessary election, as a denial of our request. This is disappointing, given that 10 of the 12 eligible staff members have already voted to form and publicly support our union, but we are strong in our principles and the pending election changes nothing.
It is not too late for voluntary recognition to happen. We are asking our community of supporters to continue emailing, writing, and tweeting that Image Comics can still voluntarily recognize the CBWU.”
As an observer – and the following thoughts are mine and not necessarily the thoughts of comicon.com as a whole – with a good deal of experience as a union representative myself, I find this behaviour by Image Comics to be very worrying. Why try and ignore this new union and make the members join a larger, nationwide union that might not necessarily represents the specific views expressed by the burgeoning CBWU? Particularly as one look at the CWA website would imply their goals are far from focussed and specific to the workplace grievances of Image Comics employees. Anyone would think Image Comics are delaying the formation of a union, or simply trying to negate the concerns the above members want to see being improved upon.
From personal experience, it’s always better to join – of form – a union that has your best interests at heart. The bigger the union, and the more professions it aims to cover, the more watered down the goals. As a signee in support of this move, I will continue to side with the 12 signatories and their noble aims for better workplace conditions and practices. In ignoring the union, they are effectively ignoring their goals. Dismissing them, if you will, out of hand. And thereby dismissing their collective hopes for more diversity, improvement of staff morale, and a decrease in their ever-growing workload. All fair goals, if you ask me, right?
And, looking at the Image Comics’ tweet, there’s not one commentator who is siding with Image. Says it all really. Can Image Comics afford to be on the wrong side of history on this one? Especially given the foundations the original partners founded the company on in the first place? Now, what is it they say about power corrupting?
More as this story develops.
You can show your support for the Comic Book Workers United union by signing here. Like me and many, many all the others. Surely Image Comics can’t ignore us all?
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