The editorial staff of Gawker Media has voted 3 to 1 to unionize with Writers Guild of America, East, for the purposes of collective bargaining.
WGAE said that in a vote held June 3, Gawker Media writers and editors voted 80 to 27 to join the union.
Gawker Media encompasses a number of websites, including Gawker, Deadspin, Jezebel, Jalopnik, Kotaku, io9, Gizmodo and Lifehacker.
“As Gawker's writers have demonstrated, organizing in digital media is a real option, not an abstraction,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the WGAE following the vote. “People who do this work really can come together for their own common good. The WGAE, Gawker's writers, and the company's management share a commitment to journalistic integrity and creative freedom. We are eager for Gawker's editorial staff to join our creative community and we are eager to negotiate a fair contract.”
Gawker joins TV and film writers, broadcasters and other digital media professionals in the guild.
Gawker Media founder Nick Denton signaled he was happy with the vote.
“While I’m thrilled to know the American labor movement is alive and well, I never thought Gawker would be the test case to prove that," he said in statement. "There’s no reason that so many U.S. workplaces are contentious and I'm very pleased Gawker is leading the movement in the online media world toward collaboration and inclusion."
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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