In what is seen as a groundbreaking effort in union organizing, staff at Image Comics voted January 6 to certify union representation by a 7-2 margin. The certification vote designates Comic Book Workers United, organized last November by Image staff, in affiliation with the Communications Workers of America, as the bargaining unit for eligible staff at Image Comics.
In a statement released via its website, CBWU said, “We're beyond thrilled to announce that today we, Comic Book Workers United, have WON our union election, making Image Comics the FIRST unionized comic book publisher in the United States.”
A representative of Image Comics management said in a statement released in response to the vote that with the 7 - 2, in favor of unionization, "everyone at Image is committed to this process and we look forward to continuing to work together on this."
The vote represents a bargaining unit of 12 staffers out a total of 21 Image Comics employees. According to the CBWU, all 12 staffers voted, but Image Comics has challenged the legality of three of the ballots, which were not opened, leading to the 7-2 vote result in favor of the union. Noting that they had a supermajority in favor of the union, CBWU first asked Image to voluntarily recognize the union, but Image management declined.
The CBWU will now work in conjunction with the CWA “on the next steps towards securing a strong, fair, and exemplary first contract for comic book publishing workers.” In addition to CWA, CBWU also cited the National Labor Relations Board, and its general counsel for their help, noting that they “have been a boon of resources on how to get started on the path to unionization.”