This #MayDay2017, a delegation of VICE Media employees in Brooklyn delivered a message to management: we want a union and it's time to talk.
May 1, 2017
Global General Manager, Vice Media, Inc.
49 S 2nd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Dear Mr. Simon:
This International Workers’ Day comes at a time of enormous political and economic uncertainty for all of us. In the broader political climate, we recognize this moment as a perilous one for both U.S. journalists and U.S. workers more generally. Within our own workplace, Vice’s explosive growth — potentially including the increasing involvement of outside investors — virtually guarantees that our jobs will undergo dramatic, even unpredictable upheaval in the years to come. Such uncertainties in the political sphere and at our rapidly-evolving employer underscore the need for us to have greater input into the decisions that shape our professional lives.
We think this May Day a fitting occasion, therefore, for Vice’s management and employees to reaffirm our shared commitment to content creators’ right to a voice on the job. It is appropriate that such reaffirmation should come just as our colleagues in Toronto, represented by the Canadian Media Guild, attain their first union contract at Vice, and almost exactly one year after the ratification of the first collective bargaining agreement between Vice Media and members of the Writers Guild of America, East. In honoring those colleagues’ decisions to organize and in negotiating a fair contracts with them, Vice demonstrated its commitment to being the type of company where creative professionals can build sustainable careers. We celebrate this spirit of labor-management cooperation.
The creative professionals who craft video for Vice have been organizing with a view to joining our Vice colleagues who already enjoy union representation. We have conducted these organizing efforts in conjunction with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE); the Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA); and the Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG, IATSE Local 700).
We ask management to continue to show respect for employees’ right to exercise their democratic, independent choice, without management intervention. We look forward to agreeing to a fair process for management to recognize our free choice, as the company did with our colleagues who organized before us.
Please contact Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the WGAE, to set up a discussion of all parties involved. We look forward to your response, and to building upon Vice’s successful labor relations to date.
Vice Union Organizing Committee