The Medium Workers Union is pausing organizing efforts after it failed to win a simple majority of support in an online vote last Friday.
“This election did not have the outcome we hoped for, but we’re not going anywhere,” the union said in a statement. “The vote was never to decide whether our union exists, but whether management would recognize us as a bargaining unit.”
The final tally was 75 yes votes, 68 votes for no, and seven abstentions, putting the organizers just one vote short of the previously agreed threshold of 76 yes votes. Notably, organizers believe these same votes would allow them to win recognition in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election due to abstention rules, which would give them 52 percent of the total votes cast. However, the union is abiding by its previous agreement with management and counting the tally as a loss.
The union can hold another third-party election at any time, although it says it is pausing organizing efforts for the moment. It has also made it clear that it does not plan to move forward with an NLRB election in the immediate future.
“Medium’s CEO Ev Williams has said leadership will continue to speak with workers directly to listen to their concerns, regardless of the election’s outcome,” the union said. They noted Williams also promised not to retaliate against organizers.
In a statement emailed to The Verge, a Medium spokesperson said: “We will respect our employees’ collective decision and the election’s outcome. We will also continue to listen to and speak with employees directly so we can quickly address concerns, continue to adapt, and together, build a successful company.”
The Medium Workers Union declined to comment further on the election outcome.