Gizmodo Media Workers Go On Strike, Ask Readers Not to Visit the Company’s Websites
Today, around 100 writers and creators in the Gizmodo Media Group Union who work at websites like Gizmodo and Jezebel went on strike after their contract with company G/O Media expired at midnight.
The union and the Writers Guild of America East had been in their third contract negotiation with the company, with union members calling for fair wages, inclusive healthcare, and editorial independence, among other things.
In recent years, G/O Media’s leadership has reportedly pushed the sites to work with advertisers to shape their coverage, editorial pressure that was confirmed by many former employees.
Strikers are asking digital workers not to contribute content—and for readers not to visit—G/O Media sites Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker, and The Root. Workers are also picketing company offices in Manhattan, after what they describe as a refusal by G/O Media to provide written counterproposals and delayed bargaining efforts.
The GMG Union said in an emailed statement:
In 2015, this union broke new ground when it organized the first digital media union. Now, GMG Union will break ground yet again: We are the first digital media shop to go on an open-ended strike for a fair contract. We didn’t make this decision lightly. After more than a month of bargaining, our shop of workers from Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker, and The Root voted 100 percent in favor of a strike, with 93 percent of members voting. We’re fighting for a say in our benefits, WPATH-compliant healthcare offerings, remote work, and equitable salary minimums to match unprecedented financial times. We hope to see our industry colleagues join us on the picket line in New York City. Our fight is your fight.GMG Union
The union’s website invites supporters of the writers and content producers to send a letter to G/O Media’s owners at private equity firm Great Hill Partners, CFO John Dwyer and Managing Director Chris Gaffney.
Last month, Great Hill Partners publicized its Fund VIII, which makes investments of up to $500 million in software, digital commerce, and healthcare companies, plus companies in other sectors, with total commitments of $4.65 billion, exceeding its original $3.5 billion target. In November, the Boston-based Great Hill announced that funds managed by private equity giant Blackstone had acquired a minority ownership interest in the firm.
(Photo via @GMGUnion on Twitter)