Changes are coming at Vice. It was recently announced that 450 million will be invested in the company which continued speculation that Vice is preparing to go public. Many analysts think it is a matter of when not if Vice goes public.
What happens when a company goes public? When a company goes public and is traded on Wall Street, it essentially means that its ownership changes and it will be owned by investors. Those Wall Street investors have expectations–mainly to make a profit. They will bring a bunch of new ideas about being more efficient and more profitable. It’s what they do.
What that will mean exactly for those that create the content and the profit at Vice is uncertain at this time. One thing that is certain, employees who have a union will have a seat at the table when decisions are made and that makes a big difference.
Recently, WGAE members at HuffPost, MTV News, and the site Gizmodo, formerly known as Gawker, experienced drastic changes when companies experienced dramatic changes. Here’s a quote from Anna Merlan, Senior Reporter at Gizmodo about changes at Gizmodo and the importance of having a union during these changes.
“When Gawker was purchased by Univision, the fact that we had formed our union already gave us a seat at the table and more agency when important discussions about editorial independence took place. We were able to get Univision to agree to a formal indemnification policy, protecting writers in the event of future lawsuits, and we were also able to preserve our health benefits, vacation policy and other elements of our contract that were important to us.”
By unionizing, employees make themselves a powerful stakeholder that management is forced to listen to and negotiate with as equals.
As Vice Media enters a new phase, we have an opportunity to protect what we have and help make Vice Media the best place for all of us. We are in a great position with the Vice Union. The company has agreed to be neutral and to a reasonable path to establishing a union at Vice. Now is the time to build on the progress and make sure we formalize our union.
Talk to your coworkers to get involved in the Vice union. If they haven’t signed a card forward them the union card link.