Vice is now the largest digital media company with union writers, after its employees voted to join the Writers Guild of America, East, according to a report Friday.
It's unclear how many writers will be unionizing at Vice, which is valued at $2.5 billion , but the company has more than 1,500 employees worldwide, including 700 in the U.S., of which less than 10 percent are writers. The decision to unionize follows a recent trend in digital media companies to join unions, following decades of the same practice at legacy print publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
The decision to unionize was reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Vice's attorney has reportedly responded to the union saying the media company will recognize and negotiate with the union.
The trend to unionize began when more than 100 writers did so at Gawker Media in June, while another 26 followed suit at Salon in July. Both sets of writers joined the Writers Guild of America, East, as Vice has done. Additionally, the 45 newsroom employees of the Guardian US voted to unionize just last week, joining the NewsGuild-CWA.
Vice Media has been criticized for paying its employees low wages. The company previously revealed that in 2012 it paid its writers an average of $45,000. Salaries have since gone up to an average of $70,000 for nonmanagement employees, the Journal said.