Congrats to the editorial staff of Refinery29, the first women’s media company to independently unionize! They join a growing number of websites, including Slate, Vice, Vox Media, and our very own Gizmodo Media Group, in the Writer’s Guild of America, East.
“Every day we watch our coworkers, a majority of whom are women, make contributions and execute ideas that make Refinery29 unlike any other media outlet — but that doesn’t mean we are immune to the challenges our industry is currently facing,” the union’s announcement reads. “By organizing, we hope to protect our progressive, creative, and fearless spirit by giving employees a seat at the table, including during the times when Refinery29 must decide how it will adapt to the shifting media landscape. Additionally, we want to ensure our voice comprises diverse, fairly-paid and excited employees, who have no trouble seeing a future at the company.”
The union aims to improve demand more transparency between management and staff, create a plan to hire, retain, and promote diverse candidates, and establish fair compensation and severance packages for employees.
“We hope that Refinery29 will voluntarily recognize our union and that together we can begin building a stronger and more equitable organization that will inspire women for years to come,” the statement continues.
Journalists operate in an increasingly unstable industry, entirely too dependent on secret Facebook and Google algorithms, the whims of reckless and shitty media executives, and a landscape littered with fake news. Regardless of what some prominent white dudes say, unions really are the best way for workers to advocate for fair pay, sick leave, and other essential protections.
“We believe that unionizing is the best way, and the feminist answer, to address our workplace issues,” the staff wrote in its announcement—a statement Jezebel wholeheartedly endorses. All women’s media should unionize.