The Writers Guild of America East, claiming a first for the podcasting industry, has unionized the employees of Gimlet Media.
The WGA East announced on Wednesday that a clear majority of the 83-member creative staff has signed union cards and called on management to voluntarily recognize the guild as its collective bargaining representative. Brooklyn-based Gimlet’s podcast network includes “Reply All,”“Crimetown,” “The Cut,” “Homecoming,” and “Every Little Thing.”
Gimlet podcasts are downloaded more than 12 million times per month. Music streaming giant Spotify paid $230 million in February to acquire Gimlet Media.
“Podcasting is one of the most exciting new media platforms for storytelling and Gimlet is at the forefront of creating compelling content,” WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson said. “We welcome the people in this field into our guild, where we will work to ensure they are afforded rights and protections like those won by other content creators working in film, television, news, and new media.”
The WGA East has organized more than 1,000 digital media employees in recent years, including the staffs at Gizmodo Media Group, Vox Media, Vice, Huff Post, Refinery 29, Onion Inc., MTV News, Salon, Slate, and Fast Company.
“As Spotify’s reported $230 million acquisition of Gimlet makes clear, however, Gimlet is no longer the small, scrappy operation memorably documented on the first season of ’StartUp,’” the Gimlet Media Organizing Committee said. “Our union is an expression of passion for what we do, and a proactive effort to work with management to shape the future of the company. It’s important for us to solidify the things that make Gimlet a great place to work, and to address whatever issues may arise.”
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