Vice Media Unionizes With Writers Guild

The editorial staff of Vice Media’s digital operations will now be represented by the Writers Guild of America East after management agreed to allow the staff to unionize.

The WGA East said that the staff sent a letter to founder and CEO Shane Smith and his executives requesting that the company recognize their decision to unionize, and management agreed without hesitation. The guild said the parties plan to begin the process of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement shortly.

“We are proud of the work we do here at Vice,” the employees said in the letter. “We love being part of a company that is changing media and having an impact on the world. We believe that a union is a logical step for the long-term legacy of the company.”

WGA East exec director Lowell Peterson said, “The men and women who write, edit and create content for Vice craft some of the most compelling stories available in the digital realm. They are finding innovative ways to reach people, to inform, to entertain and to engage. The WGAE is excited to work with these creative professionals, who want and deserve a seat at the table.”

Vice is the third digital-media outlet the WGA East has organized this summer, following successful efforts at Gawker Media and Salon Media.

Vice’s Smith offered words of support for his employees’ unionization effort.

“I’m so proud of all my perfect diamonds here at Vice,” he said in a statement. “Every single day your ideas and work continue to blow me away. I am proud to support all of you and as an old, gray-haired man all I want is for my beautiful Vice family to be happy — those writers who voted to unionize and those who did not.”

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