Spotify Lays Off At Least 38 Workers, 30% of Bargaining Unit Members
Last week, Spotify blindsided both Gimlet Union and Parcast Union with at least 38 layoffs across their studios. Spotify has said in the press that these layoffs constitute less than 5% of people working on original podcasts. That number is misleading. The reality is that each bargaining unit, organized with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), has lost about 30% of its members. These aren’t small cuts, they are massive restructurings.
Each shop has lost seasoned producers, writers, and editors. Many of those laid off were longtime employees – people who helped build their studios from the ground up, and who saw them through a global pandemic. Some were on parental leave. Others were in the middle of relocating. These employees left other jobs, other cities – other countries – to work at a company that told them repeatedly that their jobs would be secure. Most egregious is that in Parcast’s case, these layoffs directly impacted the majority of members in the union’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee, as well as the majority of the former organizing and bargaining committees.