Bread and Roses
America's Test Kitchen moves to unionize
Did you all hear that the editorial staff at America’s Test Kitchen have announced a move to unionize? This was in the works well before I left in 2020—I was involved at the time (naturally)—but it’s taken awhile to come to fruition. Like many who work there still, I’ve long felt that the very people who make the recipes there so great needed more control over their own destinies, and more power to demand fair compensation and treatment, especially when the company is—as they have been almost since the start of lockdown—making record profits. I’m proud of my former colleagues for getting to this point, and excited for this to finally happen.
If you want to read more about the unionization drive (including a quote from yours truly), this story by Tori Bedford at WGBH is a great place to start. Then go to the union’s website where you can see what they are hoping to achieve, and their responses to the misinformation that ATK management has sent employees, in a feeble attempt to quash it before a vote can take place. And be sure to follow the union on Instagram and Twitter for updates.
Somewhat ironically, I had a great guest post lined up for today from a baker friend who works at America’s Test Kitchen, but they decided to double-check with management about whether it would be kosher to write something for a non-ATK venue, and the company said no.
ATK has always been a little skittish about employees doing work outside of the company’s walls—the rocky early days of this very newsletter being a prime example—but usually they say yes when it is clear that the content in question isn’t really in competition with the sorts of things ATK normally publishes. In this case, it was a beautifully written and inspiring story about one person’s journey to becoming a bread baker. No recipes and no “practical” content other than an obvious love for the art bread baking. And yet they still said no. When pressed, apparently the reason was rather…specific: Because it was written for me and my humble email newsletter.
To which I say: 🙄. Maybe once the ATK union gets most of their important demands met, they can request that management stop letting me live rent-free in their heads, and I’ll be able to share my friend’s essay with you all.