Statement on BDG Layoffs
NEW YORK, NY (February 1, 2023) – The following is a statement from the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) regarding today’s layoffs at BDG:
“The WGAE is appalled by BDG’s decision to lay off nearly 40 of our unit members. This is the third round of layoffs over the last six months that have effectively led to halving the original unit from 200 workers to just above 100 workers. Today’s latest round of layoffs, and the closure of Gawker, came after more than two years of attempting to bargain a first contract with BDG, and on the heels of more recent bargaining dates being outright canceled by the Company.
“The decisions BDG made today come with real-world consequences for the workers who lost their livelihood. The majority of these layoffs decimate the jobs of Part-Time workers in the unit – workers who were already paid below industry standards and received no other benefits from the Company except the accrued sick time that is obligatory under most state laws. Tough economic times and rising inflation are already creating greater hardships for our members, and we expect the Company to be more generous in its severance than it has been in previous rounds of layoffs.
“WGAE demands to bargain with BDG over this decision, and over the effects of the layoffs – something the company is obligated to do under federal labor law.
“The Union will continue to press for a contract that both protects our workers’ rights and guarantees a severance that acknowledges their labor and the worth they create for their company.”
ABOUT THE WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, news, podcasts, and online 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.