Jalopnik, Other Gawker Media Writers To Unionize

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
jalopnik other gawker media writers to unionize

It’s official: Writers for Gawker Media’s online publications, including our friends at Jalopnik, have voted to unionize.

Out of 118 eligible voters throughout the online-only media company, 107 cast their vote Wednesday to decide whether or not to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East, Gawker reports. The results came to 75 percent (80 votes) in favor, 25 percent (27 votes) opposed.

As for how some of Jalopnik‘s staff voted, writer Raphael Orlove said he supported the move to unionize despite reservations regarding demands other Gawker Media writers have been making. Orlove goes on to state he would like the contract to focus on safeguarding against the company when it makes moves to the detriment of those who, while valuable as far as writing talent goes, are the least equipped to sort out the messes left behind.

Meanwhile, editor of subsidiary Black Flag Stef Schrader said she would likely vote against unionizing, based on Gawker’s unique situation as a company and WGA’s focus on more traditional forms of media. Schrader adds she and other remote employees haven’t received replies to emails about what WGA does from the union itself – asking for any organization working to represent the employees be “as responsive as work on the web demands,” especially with those not in New York – and is concerned for the company’s contractors who are prohibited from joining the WGA by the National Labor Relations Board, leaving them vulnerable come negotiation time.

And Gawker Media owner and founder Nick Denton’s take on the vote? In response to a comment from former vice president of editorial and sometimes Jalopnik contributor Joel Johnson, Denton praised the transparency leading up to the vote, an aspect his company says could be applied even further than the “transparent to a fault” stance already present. He also looks forward to working with whomever the writers choose to represent them during the company’s strategic discussions.

The next step? Jalopnik Editor-in-Chief Travis Okulski explains:

Gawker writers have approved the WGA to negotiate a contract on their behalf with Gawker management. If the contract is agreeable, which I think is what they expect, we’re unionized. If not, ties are dissolved or a new contract would be brought to the table.

Should all go as planned, Gawker Media would be the first online-only media company ever to have union representation. Time will tell if other companies follow in Gawker’s footsteps.

[Image credit: Jalopnik]

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 05, 2015

    Well, I do on the odd occasion contribute to Truck Yeah and Jalopnik. How successful will it be to unionise journo's? The future is becoming bleakers for many jobs out there. What is occurring is AI and computer generated journalism. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/533976/robot-journalist-finds-new-work-on-wall-street/ http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/29/7939067/ap-journalism-automation-robots-financial-reporting I don't think the human aspect of fiction will become robotic in the near future. Could you imagine a robot writing a Jack Baruth short story? I don't think Truck Yeah or Jalopnik are as free with opinions as TTAC. I did post one comment which questioned Andrew Collins review of the Ram Rebel. It was supposed to be an off road exercise. But, it was just a hooning exercise on his part. No real or relevant information was really provided to the reader on how well the Ram Rebel actually performed off road. The comment was never posted. What a pity. I do think some journalist should look at what a vehicle is and attempt to assess the vehicle for what it was designed to do and how it's marketed. In the end it's the journalists' decision for what direction they head in. One piece of advice for them, they will reap what they sow. What appears to be a net positive now, could in fact become a negative. Look at the UAW and the mess they have created for the US auto industry and the it's rank and file.

    • See 11 previous
    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Jun 05, 2015

      @psarhjinian "the UAW was sabotaging production quality in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. People that received sabotaged cars became evangelists for the imports, but it isn’t the UAW’s fault that Detroit failed." This was a big contributor. psarhj neglects this either selectively or out of ignorance. Union rules and intimidation allowed indifferent workers and sabotaging troublemakers to build poorly assembled products with little to no consequence. These vehicles either made it to the dealer and into the hands of the customer where they were fixed at the expense of company cost and reputation, or caught and sent to rework in the plant where even more union workers would fix them at additional company cost. I suppose you could still blame management for agreeing to the ridiculous rules as the workers held production hostage while transplant companies churned out product while being able to easily remove any troublemakers from the line.

  • 415s30 415s30 on Jun 17, 2015

    Good, I'm in the Local 510 union, we build everything for show, like the auto show, E3, etc... They will take everything from you if you don't stand together. Medical is the main thing these days, they won't rest until medical coverage is just not seen as a human right.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?