Accuracy in Media

We know that the progressive side of life would love the U.S. economy to re-unionize. The cheers with which the one Starbucks outlet votes for a union is one example of this. There’s also an obvious desire for the tech giants, to unionize, which leads to this Vice headline: “Google Fiber Workers Vote to Unionize in Historic Election.”

It’s one of those stories where it can, just about, be written this way but it’s misleading to do so.

Google Fiber workers in Kansas City, Missouri, have voted overwhelmingly to unionize after a months-long campaign to quash the union led by their contractor, BDS Connected Solutions.

In short: Some workers who work on Google Fiber but don’t work for Google or Google Fiber have voted to unionize.

“The unit is small, only 12 workers,” according to the piece.

The vote was 9 to 1, meaning that not even all of the 12 voted.

Nine folks at a subcontractor voting to unionize is not quite the same thing as that promised by that headline.

Vice is a substantial part of the modern media landscape. The cable TV channel reaches 60 million American homes, the magazine has a distribution of some 900,000 copies. The website itself gets some 26 million visits a month.

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