Vox Media staffers in New York City staged a walkout on Thursday after the company and reps for the Vox Media Union failed to come to an agreement over a new contract.
“Today’s our last scheduled day of bargaining. @voxmediainc is still apart from us on: competitive wage scales, strong guaranteed raises, better severance, subcontracting work,” the Vox Media Union said in a statement posted on Twitter. “We’ve decided we’re not showing up to work today until we resolve these issues.”
“Our unit members are taking their sites dark today to show management how important these issues are to us. Contract now,” they added. “The Vox Media Union has walked out today. Here’s what it looks like in the New York office,” they said, sharing images of Vox Media’s New York newsroom which appeared completely empty.
Last January, Vox officially moved to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East. On Thursday, WGA East released a statement in support of the union.
“Although our negotiators and the Vox Media bargaining committee have been working overtime for a long time, and have made many important gains at the table, the company has to do more to address concerns about pay fairness and transparency. These issues are essential to the people we represent at Vox Media,” Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said. “The WGAE is proud to be their collective bargaining representative.”
Vox CEO Jim Bankoff did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap, but on Thursday, he addressed employees in the newsroom, saying that he was upset with the walkout.
“While paying people a lot more than market wages sounds great on the surface, it’s not realistic or smart,” Bankoff said shortly before the walkout, according to Bloomberg.
Though company employees celebrated unionization at the time, there have also been consequences to it. Just a month after employees signed up with WGA East, Vox dropped 50 people or roughly 5% of its workforce.