Thrillist staff refuses to work as union contract negotiations sputter

By Cale Guthrie Weissman

August 13, 2018

Employees at Thrillist, the New York-based food and culture website owned by Ben Lerer’s Group Nine Media, are not reporting for work today. The staff has been fighting for a union contract for well over a year and a half–and has been trying to collectively bargain with its parent company for about a year.

According to the Thrillist Union Twitter account, Group Nine refuses to agree to certain key issues, which include “livable salary minimums and fair annual increases.” Thus, they now want to send a clear message to the higher-ups.

Because of this, the staff has decided to show their solidarity and refuse to work this morning. Instead of going to the Thrillist office, they are gathering all day at the Writers Guild’s building.

Thrillist isn’t the only Group Nine Media property fighting for a union contract. The viral animal content website The Dodo also formed a union earlier this year. We’ll see if this drawn-out Thrillist ordeal will inform how the parent company deals with its other site.

Update: Group Nine Media has provided me with this statement:

We support our employees decision to organize and have been working with them in good faith to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement. We are absolutely committed to the growth and success of all of our employees and we look forward to resolving any outstanding issues and finalizing a contract at the negotiating table as soon as they are ready.