Writers at sites operated by Bustle Digital Group Union will stage a one-hour virtual walkout on Wednesday in honor of International Women’s Day and to protest the company’s recent layoffs, the Writers Guild of America East announced.
The walkout will take place from 1-2 PM ET and will include statements streamed on the BDG Union Twitter page by New York City Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán and WGAE President Michael Winship. Other members of WGAE leadership and the Freelance Solidarity Project will also speak.
In a statement, BDG Union says that it will use the virtual rally to “give voice to the women that are disproportionately affected by company decisions” and called out BDG Union management, including its owner Bryan Goldberg, for not coming to terms with the union on an agreement more than two years after it voluntarily recognized the union.
“Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, WGAE members from the BDG Union are staging a walkout in solidarity with our colleagues affected by recent waves of layoffs, and to demand a fair contract. For over two years, BDG management has dragged its feet in bargaining, while at the same time eliminating roles held by members of our unit,” the statement read. “The time has come for Bryan Goldberg to stop using women as props in photoshoots, and to start recognizing his employees’ value with a fair contract!”
Last month, BDG Union filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board after Bustle laid off 39 unionized employees, including three who were active members of BDG. The union also accused the media company, which operates sites like Bustle, Elite Daily and Inverse, of indefinitely shutting down employee access to the BDG Union’s Slack page.
Last October, members of BDG Union told TheWrap that it had reached an impasse with management on the extent to which part-time staffers, whom make up a significant portion of the workforce at Bustle-owned sites, can access benefits in the union contract. A spokesperson for Bustle told TheWrap at the time that it was intent on reaching a final agreement with the union in good faith.
TheWrap has reached out to Bustle Digital Group for comment on the walkout and will update with any response.
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