The editorial staff of Gawker Media, which voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America East in the summer of 2015, approved its first union contract on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. The vote was 88-2 in favor of the contract, with 90 out of 99 members of the bargaining unit casting a vote.
At the onset of this process, we said our priorities were to preserve the good things at Gawker against unilateral change (which we have done with health, dental, vision, and 401(k) benefits and with paid time off); to establish clear understandable rules for pay and benefits (which we have done with defined pay increases, minimums, and benefit protections); to improve transparency (which we have done with the right to meet with the company on editorial policy, corporate policy, and diversity); and to address concerns about editorial independence (which we won with new procedural protections). And we have broken new ground by gaining book rights to material people create for the company and by winning important protections for contractors.
We joined together to ensure we have a voice, representation, and respect in the workplace and in our profession. We believe this contract is an important advance.
Members of the Gawker Union wrote about why they believe it’s time to unionize:
The online media industry makes real money. It’s now possible to find a career in this industry, rather than just a fleeting job. An organized work force is part of growing up. I fully expect that Gawker Media will emerge from this experience stronger than it has ever been.
– “Why We’ve Decided to Organize”, Hamilton Nolan
Digital media is no longer just burgeoning. It’s thriving, and now is the time to assert our right to organize.
– “It’s Time to Organize”, Adam Clark Estes