Gawker web­site em­ploy­ees vote to union­ize, 1st dig­i­tal me­dia to do so

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS - BY MAE AN­DER­SON

Gos­sip and news site Gawker Me­dia em­ploy­ees say they have voted to join the Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica, East, mak­ing it the first dig­i­tal me­dia out­let to or­ga­nize.

In a Web post­ing, Gawker Me­dia writ­ers said they voted 75 per­cent to 25 per­cent to join the Guild. The union said 90 per­cent of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers cast bal­lots.

Gawker first said it was plan­ning to union­ize in April. The em­ploy­ees said in the post Thurs­day that the next step will be de­ter­min­ing what they want to bar­gain for and form­ing a bar­gain­ing com­mit­tee.

While no dig­i­tal me­dia sites have been union­ized, The As­so­ci­ated Press, The New York Times and other news­pa­per staffers have union rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Gawker Me­dia runs branded web­sites that fea­ture news and gos­sip on dif­fer­ent top­ics, in­clud­ing Gawker, Giz­modo, Jezebel, io9 and oth­ers. The compa- ny says it has 64 mil­lion monthly U.S. read­ers. The orig­i­nal site, Gawker, which fo­cuses on me­dia and cul­ture, was founded in 2002.

Gawker founder and CEO Nick Den­ton said in a state­ment that he is “pleased Gawker is lead­ing the move­ment in the on­line me­dia world to­ward col­lab­o­ra­tion and in­clu­sion.”

The Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica, East, is part of the AFL- CIO, the largest fed­er­a­tion of la­bor unions in the U.S.

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