The PLOS Union

Small, non-profit publishers are facing unionization efforts — and fighting like movie baddies in the process

The PLOS Union
The Duke University Press Union

Back in March 2021, Duke University Press (DUP) employees began petitioning for a union. Duke University did not voluntarily recognize the union, and fought its formation with multiple legal challenges. These challenges were finally exhausted in August 2022, and the union was officially recognized.

Employees sought to negotiate a $45,000 pay floor for all employees at DUP and to match some of the Duke Faculty Union’s contract, which includes up to one month of paid medical leave and an additional nine weeks of parental leave. (I published an interview with the DUP Union leaders in April 2021.)

Now, a similar unionization effort at PLOS is occurring, and it’s also meeting with resistance from management.

In both cases, the resistance to unionization efforts is unbecoming, but with PLOS, you have a layer of hypocrisy and out-of-character corporate maneuvers that seem especially jarring and ill-advised.