Future plc Unionizes with the Writers Guild of America, East
NEW YORK, NY (February 21, 2019) – The editorial, social, photo, copy, and video staff of the multi-platform media company Future plc has unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). A clear majority of the 70-member staff has signed union cards and called on management to voluntarily recognize the Guild as its collective bargaining representative.
Future plc’s digital properties include GamesRadar+, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Laptop Mag, Live Science, Newsarama, PC Gamer, Space.com, TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Tom’s Hardware.
Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, “People working in media have swung the pendulum back towards collective action in the name of winning fair contracts and workplace protections. We are proud to welcome the staff at Future plc to the labor movement.”
In addition to Future plc, the WGAE represents digital media staffs at Vox Media, VICE, CBSN, HuffPost, Refinery29, Onion Inc., Thrillist, The Dodo, The Intercept, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Salon, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Fast Company, and Gizmodo Media Group.
The Future plc Organizing Committee issued the following statement explaining why they are organizing:
The U.S. editorial, social, photo, copy, and video staff of 11 Future plc digital publications are excited to announce that we have decided to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East.
Because we love our jobs and are proud of the work we do for our verticals, including reported stories, authoritative reviews and illustrative photos and video a majority of the teams at GamesRadar+, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Laptop Mag, Live Science, Newsarama, PC Gamer, Space.com, TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Tom’s Hardware, as well as their associated copy, social, photo, and video teams have all decided to organize. We’re thrilled to join a sweeping industry-wide movement of newsrooms banding together for equitable policies
Future plc believes that “we all row the boat” — that this company’s strength is built on the collective efforts of its workers. We believe that ideal is best upheld through a fair, collectively agreed-upon contract. We look forward to arriving at that contract through the same sort of teamwork that we devote every day to our verticals.
As a union, we are eager to address these issues in particular:
Transparency and accountability
We’re seeking to establish channels of communication regarding issues from pay and benefits to diversity to our office environments. We’re eager to develop transparent, efficient mechanisms that ensure management and editorial staff are on the same page about changes that impact us.
We’re thrilled at the news that Future’s impressive profits have continued to soar from one year to the next. And we’re eager to make sure that workers who have been critical to that growth receive their fair share. Our goal is to establish clear, livable base salaries for compensation across positions along with consistent cost-of-living increases.
We’re also thrilled that the company engages in profit sharing with its employees, and it’s our aim to make sure that takes place in a standardized and equitable way.
It’s important to us as well to rectify any gender- or race-based pay inequities that may exist at Future.
Upholding and preserving our editorial standards
The strength of our editorial brands is the trust they have built with their readerships. We want to help Future lean into that strength as our company plots a forward course through the ever-changing economies of digital media. As part of that effort, we’re asking for a redoubled commitment to making sure freelancers are paid promptly and fairly, and the establishment of new systems to ensure diversity is a value in hiring. Additionally, we want to ensure editorial staff has rules in place to distinguish them from advertising and ecommerce.
We want Future employees to feel protected as part of the company. That’s why we’re seeking explicit, clear policies on termination and a severance package with guaranteed minimums and benefits that conforms to the amount of time served with the company.
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.