June 15, 2015
Screengrab from Gawker.com

Screengrab from Gawker.com

The June 3 vote by editorial employees at Gawker Media to join a union was greeted with much fanfare. It was, after all, a distinct rarity in the digital media world.

Now comes the laborious part.

As reiterated by senior writer Hamilton Nolan, a fairly lengthy process typical to the early stages of any prospective unionization move is now triggered.

It includes finding representatives from each individual Gawker site to comprise a bargaining committee to represent the 118 covered employees.

When that’s done, there will be detailed discussions among that group on an agenda for negotiations.

What specific matters are most important to those representatives? One size may not fit all, so perhaps some topics are more germane to one group than they are to another. Those differences or commonalities won’t be fully understood until those internal talks are completed.

Then the bargaining committee and union officials of the Writers Guild of America, East sit down with company negotiators.

How long could that take? It might well be months at a minimum. Of course, there’s no assurance of success. The fact that you’ve held a union representation election — and in this case the Gawker Media staff has cast its lot with the Writers Guild — doesn’t mean that an employer will speedily cut a deal on a first contract.

But if there is success on a tentative pact, then the workers vote on it. And if they spurn it, then it might well mean both sides would return to the bargaining table.

“So it’s probably going to be weeks or months before we have another solid item of progress,” said Nolan.

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New York City native, graduate of Collegiate School, Amherst College and Roosevelt University. Married to Cornelia Grumman, dad of Blair and Eliot. National columnist, U.S.…
James Warren

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