The staff of Secretly Group, one of the largest independent music companies in the U.S., announced plans on Tuesday morning to form a union to address a list of concerns they’re hoping to correct with a union contract. The concerns include low wages and insufficient health care benefits, as well as “an absence of initiatives that address systemic race and gender inequality.”
While the company’s management said in a statement later on Tuesday that they were surprised by the move, they said they are “open to this discussion” and on Thursday, committed to working with it. The union members responded quickly on social media, writing: “We’re elated to announce that Secretly Group management has responded to our request, and has agreed to voluntarily recognize our union! This is a massive step toward a better future for all at Secretly Group and the music industry at large.”
Management’s statement follows below in full, followed by the union’s statement.
Today, Secretly sent a letter to OPEIU, Local 147, to work toward recognizing the Secretly Group Union. There are steps still to be worked out, but we share the Union’s goal of voluntary recognition, and we are working to that end.
Put simply, this decision is an extension of our mission and core values. Just as we work to empower our artist and label partners, we want to empower our employees: collaboratively, openly, in full recognition of our competing priorities and our shared goals, both. More to the point, our employees have taken this progressive step to empower themselves in partnership with us. We applaud this effort and we welcome this renewed opportunity for that partnership.
Every company has room to improve, but it is always difficult to hear that there are people within the company who are unhappy, that there are issues that may be unaddressed or out of view. But we hope that this union effort speaks to their belief that our common ground – love for the work we do, and for the music and culture we share with the world – is truly and deeply shared. That they feel they can effect this change here, and that together we can be this bellwether for the industry, is heartening.
Our employees are smart, innovative, creative and dedicated. We have no doubt that there will be exciting, unexpected ways that this will challenge us, on all sides. But we are also confident that this is a positive step for our company and the industry writ large, and it is with this in mind that we look forward to recognition and collective bargaining with the Secretly Group Union.
WE DID IT ❤️ Thanks so much for your continued support as we enter the bargaining process for a better future for all at SG and, we hope, the music industry at large too. pic.twitter.com/r5EoA31qqT
— Secretly Group Union (@secretlyunion) March 25, 2021