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

Tuesday February 6, 2024

WGA East Members at Onion, Inc Ratify New Contract with G/O Media

NEW YORK and CHICAGO (February 6, 2024) – Writers Guild of America East members at Onion, Inc. ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with parent company G/O Media.

The Onion Union, the 36-member bargaining unit representing the creative staff at The Onion, The A.V. Club, Deadspin, and The Takeout, won a new contract after a federal mediator was called in to bridge the gap between the Guild and G/O Media, and after the union voted to authorize a strike if a new deal could not be reached before their previous contract expired on January 31, 2024.

The new three-year agreement sees The Onion Union make meaningful contractual gains, including raising the minimum starting salary by $10,000 to $60,000 in the first year of the contract, and up to $64,000 in the final year of the contract. More than 25% of the unit were making under $60,000 and the lowest paid employees will see an immediate pay increase of $7,000. The contract guarantees 3% raises in each subsequent year of the agreement.

In the event of layoffs, workers will receive a minimum of 12 weeks severance with no cap, up from a five week minimum with a 14 week cap. The contract also includes successorship language that allows workers to receive full severance if their employment is terminated in the event of a sale or within 30 days of working with the new entity.

G/O Media agreed to establish a policy on the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) within 12 months. The Guild must receive 20-day notice of any AI policy changes and the company must consider the union’s input in good faith. Further, stories, articles or graphics created by GAI, in part or in whole, shall first be reviewed by an editorial employee and will have distinct signifiers in the byline indicating that the content is GAI-generated.

In addition, the agreement includes a gender-neutral increase in parental leave, WPATH standard of care in health benefits, and increased guaranteed holidays.

The Onion Union said, “We’re thrilled about this deal that addresses our unit’s top concerns, and we’re so grateful to every person who showed support throughout our bargaining process. Our unit’s strength and solidarity, together with our incredible labor allies, got us here.”

Sara David, WGAE Vice President of Online Media, said, “I am so proud of Guild members in The Onion Union for standing up and fighting for a fair deal. This contract includes meaningful gains in pay, AI protections, severance, and successorship, all of which must be found in online media contracts as the industry faces constant consolidation and layoffs. The Onion Union’s contract win is further proof that the best way workers can protect themselves and their coworkers is by unionizing their workplace.”

The Writers Guild of America East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing more than 7,500 members working 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


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