Image Workers Vote to Unionize
In a first at a comic publisher, staff at Image have voted 7-2, in favor of unionization. The unionization effort was under the banner of Comic Book Workers United and the staff will now be a part of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The union covers a part of the staff at Image and does not apply to creators.
The next step is work to form a collective bargaining agreement which doesn’t have a timeline to be completed. Such agreements cover things like wages, benefits, and other workplace issues the union would like to address.
In a series of Tweets, the Comic Book Workers United stated:
We’re beyond thrilled to announce that today we, Comic Book Workers United, have WON our union election, making @ImageComics the FIRST unionized comic book publisher in the United States.
All 12 Image staffers submitted ballots, leading to a 7:2 result in favor of the union. At this time, three staffers’ ballots are subject to a frivolous legal challenge on eligibility, thus their ballots were not opened.
Although these three ballots were not opened, their challenge had no impact on our supermajority win. @cbwupdx and @CWAUnion continue to push for their inclusion in the democratic process.
Winning this election is only the beginning — as always, we are #drawninsolidarity and are eager to continue working together with @CWAUnion on the next steps towards securing a strong, fair, and exemplary first contract for comic book publishing workers.
We want to stress how crucial it is for all workers to know they are worthy of respect, fair treatment, fair compensation, and recognition for their time and effort. @NLRB, @NLRBGC, and @CWAUnion have been a boon of resources on how to get started on the path to unionization
It is our sincere hope that today’s win inspires our peers to organize for a democratic voice. @cbwupdx is ready to stand with you to help create a better and more equitable comics industry for all.
Comic Book Workers United was announced in November 2021 and the effort laid out nine goals including salary, regular reviews of staff and management, regular staff meetings, better organization and record keeping, and increasing diversity in staff and management. You can read all nine here.
2021 also saw the unionization of employees at Paizo Publishing also under the CWA banner.