Gimlet Media staff moves to unionize following Spotify deal

Gimlet Union

Gimlet Media’s podcast-creation staff announced plans to unionize today, a month after the company was acquired by Spotify in a reported $230 million deal. More than 80 producers, engineers, hosts, editors, and reporters — who are behind popular shows like Reply All — say that the acquisition demonstrates their effort in growing Gimlet from a startup into a million-dollar business.

The staffers are working with the Writers Guild of America, East. (Disclosure: Vox Media’s editorial team is unionizing with the WGAE, as well.) Their union intends to cover both branded and editorial employees, but not managers, marketing, or members of Gimlet’s sales team. They announced their effort in a tweet and BuzzFeed News article.

The team is seeking “consistent and transparent job descriptions and salary bands;” “equitable processes for protecting employees’ intellectual property;” and “employee input in company decision-making;” among other things. Spotify has previously said Gimlet will retain its independence. The team will still work out of its Brooklyn, New York office, and Spotify has equated the deal to Disney’s relationship to Pixar or Marvel. Gimlet will operate as a studio under a bigger parent corporation.

We’ve reached out to Spotify for comment and will update when we hear back. A spokesperson for Gimlet told BuzzFeed News that it had “received a formal notice from the WGAE union and plan to review,” but had “nothing further to report at this time.”

Comments

Good for them. Glad to see unions aren’t completely dead.

I don’t know if is a good thing. Nothing is for free. Union will rise works cost and this going to be cut one way or other.

Thank a Union for giving you weekends, benefits and healthcare.

Then stop your whining.

He would rather have 7 day work week and no PTO to ensure he wouldn’t have to pay any union dues.

More than 80 producers, engineers, hosts, editors, and reporters

Holy cow, unless those are for 20 or so completely independent podcasts, that seems like way too many people.

Their site currently shows 25 seperate podcasts, but that number is less important than the number of episodes they’re putting out and the quality of those podcasts/the amount of work that goes into each. Not all podcasts are created equal.

Heavyweights has to be my favorite.

Solidarity forever. Hell yes.

I was surprised that Alex Bloomberg would sell his company. But $230M? Yeah, I’d do it too.
And good for the staff for protecting themselves.

"Unions: the people who brought you weekends"

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