WGA East Wins Voluntary Recognition at The Ringer
New York (August 16, 2019) — Management at The Ringer has voluntarily recognized the Writers Guild of America, East as the union representative of employees there, after a strong majority of the 66-person unit signed union authorization cards. The recognition comes three days after employees of the sports and pop culture news site announced their decision to unionize with the Guild.
“We welcome the editorial, video, and podcast teams at The Ringer to the Writers Guild of America, East,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “Together we will reaffirm that collective bargaining works for creative professionals, and we look forward to building a strong, productive relationship with The Ringer.”
The Ringer Union organizing committee added, “Across the realms of sports, pop culture, and technology, The Ringer’s reporting and analysis has always championed the rights of talented athletes and creators. A union allows us to embody those values in house, and we look forward to collaborating on a brighter future for the company and its employees.”
On Monday, August 12, the Ringer Union organizing committee released their “Why We’re Organizing” statement to Twitter, and called on the site’s management to voluntarily recognize the Guild as its collective bargaining representative. The letter of intent cited compensation, benefits, diversity, and creator rights among the issues they are seeking to address through collective bargaining:
The Ringer is proud to announce that we have formed a union with WGA East and are standing with the thousands of other digital professionals in the media, podcasting, and video worlds who have recently organized.
By unionizing, we hope to strengthen our already amazing workplace culture and ensure that everyone who works at The Ringer, from video to editorial, from senior staffers to entry-level hires, receives necessary support, protection, and fair compensation. Here are some of the issues we’re discussing:
Compensation: We want everyone at The Ringer to earn a living wage and receive fair overtime pay. We hope to define clear salary minimums for each position, close any race- or gender-based gaps that may exist, and establish a consistent performance review and raise system.
Benefits: We also want to clarify, standardize, and strengthen benefits, including parental leave, sick leave, disability leave, and the creation of 401ks.
Diversity: We feel strongly that the best content is created by a diverse staff and want to create standards to ensure The Ringer hires and promotes people from underrepresented communities.
Severance: We work in a volatile industry and want to have long futures at The Ringer. We seek a severance policy with a guaranteed minimum that scales up in accordance with time served at the company.
Transparency: Maintaining open communication between employees and management is crucial to fostering a healthy workplace. This includes clear, accurate job descriptions and titles, responsibilities, and an org chart.
Creator rights: We are proud of the work we do at The Ringer. Creatives on staff should have more control over their intellectual property, receive revenue sharing when applicable, be allowed to contribute elsewhere, and be properly credited for their multimedia work.
We look forward to discussing these and other issues with the same collaborative, forward-looking spirit that drives our work every day. Together with management, we hope to establish a strong foundation for both the present and future of The Ringer—one that empowers employees and enables them to continue to create the best possible work.
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.