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]

Join the conversation
14 of 82 comments
  • 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.

  • Tassos The EQS is the best looking BEV, better than even the only Tesla I would ever consider (the S) and more luxurious inside etc etcThe self driving features will come in handy when I'm 110 and my eyesight and reaction times start to suffer.But that's four decades away, and only Tim recommends 40 year old "used cars"
  • Tassos "Baby, Baby light my fire!""Oh God please give me a Kia Forte" --Janis Joplin
  • Tassos The fugly looks of any Subaru, and especially the non-sporty non-elegant, fugly, low-rent looks and interior of the WRX are alone a sufficient turnoff to never want to own one.One can be a 100% car enthusiast but ALSO demand a beautiful AND luxurious vehicle one can be truly proud of and which makes one very happy every time one drives it.The above is obviously totally foreign to Subaru Designers and managers.
  • Thehyundaigarage Am I the only one that sees a Peugeot 508?
  • Lou_BC I realized it wasn't EV's burning by the absence of the usual suspects.