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Gawker announces plan to unionize

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Batman, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Not sure what this means for the industry at large, if anything, but Gawker Media's employees announced they're in the early stages of a plan to unionize.
    Good thing? Bad thing? No thing?

    Why We've Decided to Organize 
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Say "Goodnight," Gawker.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    In the general sense, it's a good thing. If they can use collective bargaining power to negotiate anything better for themselves, all the power to them.

    In the smaller sense, though, people usually think that the word "union" magically gives them leverage they don't have.

    The thing about media jobs in NYC is that there are way more smart, capable people (usually relatively recent grads from some very good schools) ready to do those jobs than there are actual jobs. It is why it has always been low-paying work and just getting the jobs is competitive even with the crappy pay -- they can choose from stacks of resumes and clips. At the entry level of most consumer magazines it used to be that you had some really qualified recent grads who would have been willing to pay for their foot in the door. Maybe Gawker is different, since they are gossip sites and that takes a skill set that is hard to find or develop -- I really don't know. If that is the case, yeah, the employees have leverage, and since they are not easily replaced, that leverage could net them something. If it isn't the case, though, they should be prepared to deal with the reality that simply forming a union, in and of itself, doesn't necessarily give you more value to your employer than you are already realizing.
  4. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Follow the lead of these fellas.

  5. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    I don't know how true this is but I've heard you actually have to pay reasonably not bad for jobs like these, even (...and especially...) in Manhattan.

    Pay too little for these cool media gigs and you only get trust-funders. Which is fine for your bottom line but they have the financial freedom to wander off after a short while in search of the even cooler gig. Thus, gritting his or her teeth, the average employer has to set a high enough wage so your peons can afford some one-room hovel out in farthest Queens.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    "Pay reasonably not bad" is all relative, right? You have it right. Cost of living in the area is high, so the salaries will look good to a lot of people on here. The money doesn't get you that far, though, especially when your rent is eating up a huge chunk of it. When you compare it to the money some of your friends who chose other careers are making, you are definitely on the lower end of things. It's not like you are earning fast food worker wages, but you are only going to earn so much working most editorial jobs.
  7. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Ragu, I'm curious. Based on what you know and what you can reasonably assume, what do you think the average pay is for these guys, and what kind of rent payment are we likely talking about?
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I am really bad at this stuff.

    But I'd guess they pay competitively. It isn't the $12 a post they had going for years, anymore. I'm not even sure what competitive is anymore for those kinds of jobs -- for a reasonably young, associate editor level type job, I'd guess around $50K to $60K, and a decent benefits package with insurance, 401(K) maybe matching.

    I don't know the rental market well, but average rent let's say in Brooklyn, say for a 2-bedroom share, would be around $3,500 a month. That is living in a place like Boerum Hill or Fort Greene. Rents in some neighborhoods, such as DUMBO or Brooklyn Heights will be much higher than that. So figure you are looking at somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000 a month for your share of rent in an apartment you are sharing with someone.
  9. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

  10. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Fucking New York.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I'd sure never pay that much to live in a place where you can't even find good pizza.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah. You guys would be miserable. Very few $4.99 all-you-can-eat-what-passes-for-pizza-and-deep-fried-twinkie-buffets in the tristate area. It's pure hell.
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