Podcast content creators Crooked Media have united with the WGA East, complaining about “the deterioration of our working conditions.” According to the guild, an “overwhelming majority” of the podcast company’s 55 content creators signed the card to unionize and called on management to voluntarily recognize the guild as their collective bargaining representative.
Founded in 2017 by former President Barack Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor, Crooked Media produces podcasts. Pod Save America, what a day, hall of shame And Love it or leave it.
“As the audience and creative opportunities for podcast storytelling expand, the Guild is proud to work with storytellers and improve conditions in this important sector,” said WGA East Executive Director Lowell Peterson.
In a letter sent to management today, the company’s 55-member bargaining unit said it is organizing because “crooked has been unable to consistently attract and retain top industry talent due to low competitive compensation, inadequate cost of living. increases, and a disproportionate imposition of personal work requirements and transfer costs. In short, we want to see Crooked become a fair workplace.”
Their letter also noted that “internal discussions regarding our company’s approach to race, class, and broader disparities at the staffing and programming levels are ongoing, but there have been few signs from management that these conversations will lead to effective action or meaningful change. Through collective bargaining, we can ensure that the needs of our most vulnerable colleagues come first.”
Areas of concern they want addressed at the bargaining table include “pay equity and transparency, severance and leave policies, and overtime/workload regulations for full-time workers; transparency in promotion requirements, role scope, and job ladders, and improved review processes.” Growth; guarantees that company policies and benefits apply equally to all employees and prioritizes diversity in the hiring, retention and advancement of employees of color, and transparency around how this is achieved.”
In addition to Crooked Media, WGA East represents employees of podcast production companies Gimlet Media, iHeart Podcast Network, Parcast, Pineapple Street Studios and The Ringer. The guild represents 7,000 workers in film, television, news, podcast and online media.