Vox Media has agreed to recognize the Writers Guild of America East as the collective bargaining representative of approximately 400 employees.
The digital media company covers news, technology, sports, and lifestyle across eight verticals — Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Racked, Recode, SBNation, the Verge, and Vox.com. The WGA East made the announcement Thursday and said it hopes to start negotiations soon.
The WGA East has been active in organizing digital news sites for the past three years and now reps about 1,000 members in that area, including Vice, HuffPost, the Intercept, Gizmodo Media Group (Splinter, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, the Root, Lifehacker, Kotaku, io9, Jalopnik, Earther), ThinkProgress, MTV News, Thrillist, and Salon. Organizing efforts at Vox were unveiled three months ago.
“The content creators at Vox Media have stood strong together throughout this process, insisting that their right to bargain collectively be respected,” said Lowell Peterson, WGA East Executive Director. “We are as proud of their solidarity as we are of the important work they do for a living, and we welcome them to the Writers Guild of America, East. We look forward to sitting down with Vox Media’s progressive management to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that reflects the unit’s needs and aspirations and that ensures they continue to have a voice on the job.”
The New York-based WGA East has about 4,000 members. Vox Media issued a statement Thursday: “We have come to an agreement with the WGAE on which roles will be part of a WGAE collective bargaining unit at Vox Media. We’ll be working with WGAE over the next week to finalize and sign a recognition agreement to voluntarily recognize the Vox Media Union. We look forward to working with union representatives and our employees to continue to make Vox Media the best modern media company.”
In a statement, the Vox Media Union Organizing Committee said, “We’re thrilled that Vox Media has chosen to recognize the Vox Media Union and our decision to organize with the Writers Guild of America, East. The company’s decision affirms what we have known since the start of our campaign: Across eight verticals, our colleagues overwhelmingly want the benefits and protections that come from union membership.”
“Through voluntary recognition, Vox Media has joined the growing ranks of digital media companies that understand the necessity of unions to secure basic protections for those of us who work in an always-evolving industry,” the statement continued. “As we wrote in our ‘Why We’re Organizing’ letter three months ago, a union will give us the means to maintain what we love about working for this company, and to have a collective voice when we address anything that may change.”
“We’re proud to work for a company that places quality, inclusivity, collaboration, and respect among its core values.,” the statement concluded. “We formed the Vox Media Union because we believe that the best way to champion those values is to unionize, and we’ll continue to champion those values at the bargaining table as new members of the Writers Guild of America East.”