Writers from Gizmodo, Jezebel, Kotaku, and More Are On Strike
Workers in the Gizmodo Media Group (GMG) Union, which includes staff writers for Gizmodo, Jezebel, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Lifehacker, and The Root, have announced that they’re on strike after their contract with G/O Media expired Monday night at midnight. The strike includes both a physical and a digital picket line. Workers are asking people not to read or accept freelance work from any of the six websites listed above, and they’re also inviting people to march with them in solidarity outside the G/O Media offices at 1920 Avenue of the Americas in New York City.
Why is the GMG Union Striking?
According to the GMG Union’s website, the union is fighting for six concessions from G/O Media in a new contract: keeping a cap on healthcare costs and offering trans-inclusive healthcare; offering higher salaries to new employees; offering more expansive parental leave; codifying remote work options; making diverse hiring a priority; and avoiding possible forced relocations for workers. The GMG Union claims that G/O Media has met with the union five times but has failed to adequately address the union’s concerns.
“Every session,” the Union says in a statement, “the company’s outside counsel sidestepped and delayed, refusing to provide written counterproposals to the union’s good-faith proposals. How can you bargain a contract when the people across the table won’t even clearly state what they’re advocating for?”
GMG has been embroiled in ongoing labor disputes with G/O Media ever since they were acquired by Great Hill Partners in 2019 and Jim Spanfeller, who is allegedly a herb, was hired to oversee the company.
The NewsGuild of New York, which represents over 3,000 journalists in New York City, has released a solidarity statement, writing that “when Management slow-walks negotiations, as they are with GMG Union, it is an effort to weaken worker power. Management is relying on standard anti-union stalling tactics in a misguided attempt to sap the strength and determination of union members who are fighting for a strong collective bargaining agreement.” (GMG Media writers are members of the Writers Guild of America, East.)
According to Variety, G/O Media claims that it “bargained in good faith right up until the deadline late last night when the Union voted to cut off talks and strike.”
How Can You Help?
If you’re in New York City, you can join the picket line at 1920 Avenue of the Americas. You can also avoid clicking on any links that lead to Gizmodo, Jezebel, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Lifehacker, or The Root.
If you’re able to donate some money, the GMG Union has set up a GoFundMe to help out workers whose paychecks and health benefits will take a hit because of the strike. You can also buy merch, send a letter of support to Great Hill Partners, the equity firm that owns G/O Media, or spread the word on social media.
(image: GMG Media/WGA East via Twitter)
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