Vice writers unionize

Editorial staff follow Gawker, Salon, join Writers Guild of America

Writers at Vice Media are the latest to join the Writers Guild of America East union.

On Aug. 7, the union announced editorial staff at the New York-based digital media company had voted in favour of joining the WGAE. Management agreed to recognize the representation without hesitation, according to the union.

In a letter penned to Vice’s founder and CEO Shane Smith, employees said the decision to unionize was a logical one.

“We are proud of the work we do here at Vice,” the letter reads. “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.”

Vice’s editorial staff join the slew of digital newsrooms going union in the United States. Earlier this year, Gawker Media certified, promptly followed by Salon and Guardian writers.

For the union, organizing drives at digital publications will continue to gain traction.

“The men and women who write, edit and create content for Vice craft some of the most compelling stories available in the digital realm,” said Lowell Peterson, WGAE’s executive director. “The WGAE is excited to work with these creative professionals, who want and deserve a seat at the table.”

The next step for writers and management at Vice will be to start the bargaining process and draft a collective agreement.

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