Fast Company Ratifies First Union Contract with the Writers Guild of America, East
NEW YORK, NY (JUNE 7, 2018) – The 32-member editorial and photo staff of Fast Company have unanimously ratified its first collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).
Fast Company’s contract comes four years after Gawker Media began a tidal wave of newsrooms unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East. The Guild now represents staffs at Vox Media, Talking Points Memo, ThinkProgress, HuffPost, The Intercept, VICE, Salon, Slate, CBSN, Gimlet Media, Refinery29, Thrillist, The Dodo, Onion Inc., Future plc, MTV News and Gizmodo Media Group.
Fast Company’s two-and-half year agreement includes significant gains, including some unit members receiving 26% salary increases. Highlights include:
- Salary minimums beginning at $50,000.
- Annual cost-of-living increase of 3% for employees earning under $65,000 the first year of the contract and under $75,000 in the second year of the contract. All other employees receive across the board salary increases or bonus.
- Permalancers will become full-time employees upon ratification.
- Individuals hired at a “day rate” will have the opportunity to become full time after 12 months and start at an equivalent salary/rate.
- Company matches 50% of 401k contributions—up to $2,000—for employees with at least 1 year of service and earning less than $120,000
- Comprehensive derivative works agreement stipulating employees retain right to all work not considered Fast Company work product.
- Management must interview at least two people from diverse backgrounds for any open position.
- 45 sick days.
- 12 weeks parental leave.
- Detailed plan for layoffs and severance packages.
- Just cause and union security.
The Fast Company bargaining Committee said, “We’re so happy to ratify this contract and want to thank management for their good faith negotiation. We are excited that Fast Company is now strongly living up to the ideals we espouse in our editorial.”
Lowell Peterson, Executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, added, “This collective bargaining agreement demonstrates Fast Company’s commitment to a welcoming and innovative workplace for Guild-represented employees. It shows that newsroom employees who form a union can build upon what they love about the place they work and win real gains at the bargaining table.”
“I’m very proud of my colleagues on the Fast Company editorial team and in management for a collegial and professional negotiation,” says Mansueto Ventures CEO Eric Schurenberg. “The result is an agreement that is true to the attributes we stand for and have always exalted in the companies we cover: innovation, inclusion, diversity and creativity. It’s a real accomplishment, and puts Fast Company in the position where it has always been most at home: leading innovative businesses into the future.”
ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, news and new media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.