WHY WE ARE ORGANIZING

From the Vice Union Organizing Committee

Since its inception, VICE has grown by leaps and bounds. When Shane Smith tells us that we are beating every other media company in terms of growth, charging through as the “Time Warner of the streets” in VICE’s words, we listen. This was a company built for young people and by young people. But youth is fleeting. As VICE continues to grow up and older, so will its employees. Likewise, we employees will continue to face challenges of today as we age: paying rent, staying healthy, providing for families, seeking advancement, saving for retirement. We find it necessary then to act on these issues now, and plan for our future.

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When Shane recently wrote us his “we are the punks again” message, we couldn’t have agreed more when he said now is our time to service “our ever-growing millennial audience who are being left out of the political and socioeconomic status-quo, despite being the largest demographic on Earth.” We believe in addressing the needs of our time. That’s why we are currently building a union that embodies our beliefs and stands up for our interests. We want VICE management to fully respect the people who help make VICE the dynamic company that it is. What’s more, as many at VICE have learned the hard way – trying on your own to negotiate your position or compensation often does not get you very far. Working together, we can all have some leverage, and benefit in our negotiations.

We have outlined core areas at the heart of this effort, and they are described as follows. We hope our fellow VICE employees will join in the conversation and contribute what is important to them as well:

PAY AND BENEFITS

VICE is an industry leader in its product offering. It should also be an industry leader in the compensation and benefits packages it offers its freelance and staff employees. In too many respects, with regards to rewarding work, VICE now lags rather than leads. Under the new Trump administration, in which journalists have been branded as enemies and protections for employees are jeopardized, it is all the more imperative that VICE demonstrate robust support for its employees. Such support starts with appropriate compensation: regular raises to address increases in the cost of living, rates of pay that adequately reflect the responsibilities we are assigned, overtime and kill fee policies that compensate us accordingly for long hours and changes to project schedules. A progressive employer further supports its employees in ways that go beyond the paycheck: support such as strong healthcare benefits for both staff and freelance employees, retirement benefits, childcare, as well as maternity and family leave.

DIVERSITY

We are committed to making VICE an inclusive working environment where people of various races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities and physical ability can come together to make great content. We call upon management to create more opportunities for people of color and women in VICE’s day-to-day operations. In these times of international political turmoil, we also seek real financial and administrative assistance in supporting our international hires. Our union will help ensure that VICE’s commitment to diversity is realized through concrete policies and procedures.

TRANSPARENT MANAGEMENT STANDARDS

In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement, too often we VICE employees lack a clear and consistent understanding of what is expected of us and what we can expect of the company. As a consequence, some of management’s decisions can seem arbitrary or capricious. For each of us to excel in our work, we need to know the standards according to which decisions are made about such critical concerns as promotions, pay raises, staff versus permalance status, assignment of responsibilities, disciplinary actions, and terminations. A union contract establishing agreed-upon, transparent standards for such decisions will help ensure that each of us performs to the best of her or his ability.

CLEAR AND SUSTAINABLE CAREER PATH

We believe in the mission of VICE, and we hope to build sustainable careers with the company. Patterns of unexplained firings and layoffs undermine our ability to commit ourselves to the company’s mission for the long term. Moreover, we need clear paths by which we can advance our employment at VICE. The current system of reviews and conflict resolution result in too much uncertainty about our future prospects with the company.

EDITORIAL FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE

We require editorial freedom to inform and stimulate our audience without censoring our content based on VICE business relationships. When it comes to any content tied to branded projects, expectations for any work on the branded content should be a clearly delineated part of work agreements that VICE employees are a part of forming, not duties added to existing job responsibilities without consultation and negotiation.

NEXT STEPS

Let’s build our union by getting involved to make improvements throughout Vice. Join the campaign. Sign a union card. If you want to get more involved or have questions, you can contact us at: ViceUnion@ViceUnion.org.

THREE UNIONS, ONE VISION: A VOICE AT VICE

We know that we are strongest when we stand united. That’s why employees from throughout VICE Media’s various operations and departments are coming together to make Vice a better place to work.

Three different unions are assisting us in our efforts to organize at Vice: the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represents producers, associate producers, coordinators, archivists, researchers and already has a contract for Vice’s editorial employees; the Motion Picture Editors Guild (IATSE Local 700) represents video editors, assistant editors, and other post-production employees; and Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) represents correspondents, hosts, narrators, and reporters.

Working together, across platforms, we can win union contracts and a real voice in our workplace.

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN

Take the first step and sign a card today!

EDITORS GUILD

SIGN A CARD

Editors & Post-Production Staff

VICE’s editorial and post-production employees are organizing with the support of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Local 700 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. The Editors Guild represents 7,500 post-production professionals nationwide, working at every stage of post in new media, television, and feature production.

SAG-AFTRA

SIGN A CARD

Correspondents, Hosts, Narrators, and Reporters

VICE’s correspondents, hosts, narrators, and reporters are organizing with the support of Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the World. SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters, journalists, dancers, DJs, program hosts, recording artists, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.

WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST

SIGN A CARD

Producers, Associate Producers, Coordinators, Archivists and Researchers

VICE’s producers, associate producers, coordinators, archivists and researchers are organizing with the support the Writers Guild of America, East. The Writers Guild represents thousands of creative professionals in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news.

NOT SURE WHICH UNION? FIND YOUR JOB TITLE.

CONTACT US

For more information or to get in touch with an organizer

    Contact An Organizer Directly

    For MPEG contact Rob Callahan at RCallahan@editorsguild.com / (323) 978-1078
    For SAG-AFTRA contact Jennifer Peat at jennifer.peat@sagaftra.org / (212) 863-4206
    For WGAE contact Eduardo Zevallos at Ezevallos@wgaeast.org / (347) 792-9595