Writers Guild of America, East Announces Transition for DNAist Union Workers
This week, the Writers Guild of America, East announced the DNA Info./Gothamist (DNAist) bargaining unit negotiated a substantial transition agreement for workers who were abruptly fired two weeks ago when outlet owner Joe Ricketts shut them down.
Terms of the agreement include:
Each employee will receive three months of full pay and benefits, even if they obtain other employment.
At the end of that period, each employee will receive four weeks’ severance pay.
Each employee has the right to use their own work, including work that was already published by DNAinfo or Gothamist, and to create new works derived from what they did for the publication.
No employee will be required to sign a non-disparagement provision.
The company has confirmed in writing that it will not remain in business or create any neighborhood news media site for at least two years; any asset sale must be to a third party, conducted at arm’s length.
The DNAinfo/Gothamist bargaining committee said, “The agreement we hammered out provides a significant amount of financial stability for our workers and their families, allows us to build on the stories we wrote for DNAinfo and Gothamist, and ensures that we will continue to speak truth to power without fear of reprisal from a non-disparagement clause. We couldn’t have done all this without the help of the Writers Guild of America, East, and we hope that our experience underscores the importance for writers and journalists everywhere to unite and stand up for their rights.”