Press Room

Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Thursday May 30, 2019

Talking Points Memo Ratifies First Union Contract with WGAE

NEW YORK, NY (May 30, 2019) — Talking Points Memo’s editorial staff today unanimously ratified its first collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).

Established in 2000, Talking Points Memo (TPM) was the first digital-native news organization to win the George Polk award for Journalism. The site’s 11-member bargaining unit covers a wide-range of politics, policy and national news, and works out of offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.

On May 10, 2018, TPM’s editorial staff unanimously signed a letter expressing their intent to join the WGAE. Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall immediately recognized their union.

The three-year agreement includes a minimum starting salary of $52,000, annual “cost of living” wage increases of 3% for employees earning under $75,000, intellectual property rights, weekend pay & reimbursements, 10 weeks of paid parental leave, an iron clad non-discrimination clause, a commitment to diverse hiring practices, cell phone reimbursements, successor clause, layoff and severance packages, just cause and union security.

The TPM Bargaining Committee noted, “We are happy to have this contract ratified and appreciative of management’s good faith negotiation throughout this process. We believe this contract will strengthen our workplace and we’re excited to keep producing great journalism.”

Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, “TPM has a history of reporting on labor rights and this collective bargaining agreement demonstrates that they are willing to walk-the-walk and address the concerns raised by Guild-represented employees at the bargaining table.  We hope more newsrooms will see the example set by TPM and organize for a more just and equitable workplace.”

In addition to Talking Points Memo, the WGAE represents staffs at digital shops Vox Media, ThinkProgress, HuffPost, The Intercept, VICE, Salon, Slate, CBSN, Gimlet Media, Refinery29, Thrillist, The Dodo, Onion Inc., Fast Company, Future plc, MTV News and Gizmodo Media Group.

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


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