Parcast, the podcast production company Spotify acquired last year, is unionizing. The Writers Guild of America, East announced the news today, along with a letter about why Parcast, which specializes in true crime and mystery shows, decided to organize.
The production company says it wants to see Spotify commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as maintain a reasonable workload and overtime compensation. Parcast is also seeking clear job descriptions, equitable pay, transparent salary bands, and movement around creative and IP. From here, Spotify now can either recognize the union voluntarily, which would set it up to begin contract negotiations, or request a vote from union members to prove they have support. (Disclosure: Vox Media’s editorial team, which includes The Verge, is also unionized with WGAE.)
In a comment to The Verge, Spotify said: “We confirm that we have received a formal notice from the union and plan to review.”
Proud to announce the formation of our union with the @WGAEast. We love making podcasts and are confident that our union will help ensure a sustainable, equitable future in our fast-changing industry. pic.twitter.com/sQ0X4XH3Ju— Parcast Union (@ParcastUnion) September 2, 2020
This means Parcast is now joining Gimlet Media and The Ringer, other Spotify-owned companies, in their union efforts. Both groups are also organized through WGAE, and both are still in the bargaining phase of their contract negotiations, meaning no official contract has been agreed upon just yet. The Ringer’s union tweeted last week that its negotiations around diversity and inclusion had progressed and included measures that will “ensure more underrepresented applicants are considered for posted jobs, establish/fund a diversity committee, and give that committee the opportunity to submit quarterly hiring recommendations.”
Both have been in negotiations since last year, with The Ringer unionizing prior to Spotify’s acquisition and Gimlet doing so only a month after Spotify bought the company. Spotify voluntarily recognized Gimlet and continued union conversations with The Ringer after its acquisition.