The Dedicated Team of Workers Behind the Famous Brand Seek Voluntary Recognition from ATK Leadership After a Strong Majority Signed Cards in Favor of Forming a Union
Boston, Mass. — In a major step forward for workers organizing in the media industry, a strong majority of workers at America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) have signed cards indicating their desire to form a union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Their union, ATK United, is seeking voluntary recognition from management. In addition, they have filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) should ATK refuse to voluntarily recognize the union.
The workers are organizing to form a union and bargain a fair contract that will include competitive salaries; affordable healthcare plans; improved benefits and wellness programs; increased subsidization of commuting costs; transparent and consistent processes for hiring, performance reviews, promotions, and pay raises; a sincere commitment to diversity at all levels; a continuation of remote work flexibility; and the establishment of processes for employee input regarding in-office policies.
“We want a seat at the table in the decision-making that affects us. We need good health benefits and fair compensation for our work including overtime pay, with wages that keep pace with the cost of living,” said Afton Cyrus, Deputy Food Editor at ATK Kids. “The company’s revenue has soared in recent years, in large part due to our hard work creating incredible content. However, our contributions are not being valued financially. Many of us cannot afford to work at ATK without help from second jobs or family members. Forming a union will give us the agency to negotiate a fair, transparent, and enforceable contract, and the security of knowing that jobs and benefits cannot be threatened or revoked.”
For nearly 30 years, America’s Test Kitchen, which includes Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, as well as America’s Test Kitchen Kids, award-winning podcasts, and the upcoming Amazon-produced reality TV series ATK: The Next Generation, has been teaching home cooks the skills they need to be confident and capable in the kitchen. The dedicated team of workers behind the famous brand help produce and support ATK’s award winning content in multiple ways.
“We are passionate about our jobs and our commitment to maintaining and building upon our brand’s excellent reputation. However, people have been struggling for years with serious challenges working at ATK,” said Camila Chaparro, Senior Editor for ATK Books. “Many departments are chronically understaffed, requiring employees to work beyond a standard workday without additional pay, just to meet basic deadlines. Many of us feel completely unable to take paid time off without jeopardizing our projects. There is a growing disconnect between the people making decisions at the top about expanding programming and those on the ground who have to make it happen. We are tired of our contributions being constantly undervalued. It is time that our voices be heard and we are given the respect and dignity we deserve.”
Members of ATK United (CWA Local 1400) are proud to join the wave of recent worker organizing efforts among similar media companies such as Condé Nast, the New York Times Wirecutter, and Gimlet Media, and stand in solidarity with all workers organizing to transform the food media landscape for the future.
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.