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The Dodo Staff Ratifies First Writers Guild Contract

Staffers at the website the Dodo have voted unanimously in favor of ratifying their first union contract, negotiated by the Writers Guild of America East.

The Dodo is the second Group Nine Media subsidiary to unionize with the WGA East following ratification by staffers at Thrillist of their first ratified guild contract in October. The Dodo site is dedicated to showing love and compassion for animals and animal-related causes.

The WGA East said the three-year deal covers about 35 employees and includes many of the benefits and protections secured in the Thrillist agreement, including a $50,000 salary floor, a “robust” paid parental leave policy, and just cause standards and improved guaranteed severance in the event of layoffs. The deal contains a 6% pay increase in the first year of the contract, and 2.5% increases in the second and third years.

The Dodo bargaining committee said, “This contract was achieved through the collective action and mutual support of all of our colleagues, and we are so proud of the standards we established together. We are very excited to join our colleagues at Thrillist as we ratify the second union contract at Group Nine, and we look forward to other shops in digital media working together to provide themselves with the same fair and basic protections.”

WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson said, “We are proud that, with member engagement and solidarity, the WGAE is able to negotiate agreements that address the issues that matter most to our members. Gains in organizing translate to gains at the bargaining table, and ultimately this means more power and better conditions for people who craft content across the industry.”

The Dodo is the fourth digital media publication to win union recognition with the WGA East in 2018 and the fifth to ratify a guild contract this year. The WGA East represents over 1,500 employees at digital news shops including Thrillist, Vox Media, Vice, Onion Inc., HuffPost, The Intercept, Slate, Salon, ThinkProgress, Fast Company, Talking Points Memo, MTV News, and Gizmodo Media Group.

The WGA East has made unionization of New York-based digital media a priority in recent years. The union now represents nearly 5,000 writers in film, television, news and digital media.

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