Gimlet Media and The Ringer Ratify First Podcast Contracts at Spotify
NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES (April 7, 2021) – The writers and producers at Gimlet Media and The Ringer, two of the first podcast production companies to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), both ratified first collective bargaining agreements. Gimlet Media and The Ringer are owned by Spotify.
The Guild negotiated both three-year agreements concurrently, and the contracts were unanimously ratified by the 48 bargaining unit members at Gimlet Media and 65 bargaining unit members at The Ringer.
Both of the groundbreaking union contracts include:
- Significant increases to salary minimums, with The Ringer establishing $57,000 plus overtime as an entry-level floor, and Gimlet Media beginning at $73,000 for Associate Producers.
- Establishment of new senior titles.
- Limitations on the use of contractors within bargaining unit positions. Contractors must either be offered a full-time job after 10 months, or the companies must inform them 30 days in advance that there will not be a position available for them.
- Minimum of 2% guaranteed annual increases.
- Minimum severance of 11 weeks for all employees, regardless of tenure.
- Spotify benefits, with no change in benefits for the duration of the contract.
- Editorial standards that guarantee that the company will not modify or fail to publish content based on the direction of advertisers, and that bargaining unit employees will not be required to work on advertising and branded content.
- Funding for Diversity Committees, with representatives from both management and the bargaining unit.
- Language guaranteeing that 50% of candidates for open unit positions who make it to the stage after the phone interview will be from traditionally under-represented groups (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, military veterans).
- Elimination of post-employment non-compete agreements for all employees who make under $155,000, and removal of post-employment non-competes in individual agreements.
- Formation of a Labor Management Committee.
- Just cause and union security.
Click here to view the full Gimlet Media collective bargaining agreement.
Click here to view the full The Ringer collective bargaining agreement.
The Ringer’s Bargaining Committee said, “We began this process with the aim of improving working conditions and compensation at the company, especially for our lowest-paid members. We’re thrilled to have achieved that goal with this contract.”
Gimlet Media’s Bargaining Committee said, “Our union began as an effort to improve diversity, pay equity, and pathways to promotion at Gimlet. We are proud that this first contract includes provisions that take steps forward on all of these issues. We also look forward to maintaining more open discussions with management to ensure that we continue to make progress on all these fronts, and more.”
Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, “The collective bargaining agreements at Gimlet Media and The Ringer demonstrate that the people who make podcasts, from writers to producers to editors, bring enormous value to the major platforms for whom they create content. Collective bargaining ensures creative professionals have a seat at the table to address issues like inclusion and equity, intellectual property concerns, and sustainability of careers.”
The WGAE also represents employees at Spotify-owned podcast production company Parcast, who are currently in negotiations for their first collective bargaining agreement.
The Writers Guild of America, East represents nearly 7,000 writers in film, television, news (broadcast and digital), and podcasts. In addition to Gimlet Media and The Ringer, the WGAE represents staffs at 1010 WINS, ABC News, Bustle Digital Group, CBS News, CBSN, Chalkbeat, Committee to Protect Journalists, Entercom (WCBS-AM, WBBM-AM, KNX-AM), Fast Company, Fox 5 WNYW-TV, FT Specialist, Future Plc, Gizmodo Media Group, Hearst Magazines, HuffPost, The Intercept, Jewish Currents, MTV News, NowThis, Onion Inc., Parcast, Refinery29, Salon, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), Thrillist, VICE, Vox Media and WBBM-CBS 2 News.
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.