Writers Guild of America East and Hearst Magazines have reached a tentative agreement on their first contract over labor rights, side-stepping a potential writers strike.
“The WGAE is pleased to announce a tentative agreement at Hearst Magazines that will guarantee the writers, producers, and editors across all 28 brands their essential labor rights,” said a statement Friday. “This landmark contract was hard fought since Day 1, and is testament to what can be achieved through the power of solidarity.”
The development comes more than two years after the two entities went back and forth over the terms of their contract after the guild filed four unfair labor practice charges against Hearst with the National Labor Relations Board. In February, WGAE and Hearst Union claimed in their third filing that Hearst “unilaterally implemented” uneven wage increases for some employees while the union’s negotiating committee was bargaining for percentage wage increases for all staff members.
Hearst Magazines holds 28 brands, including “Oprah Daily,” “Esquire,” “Cosmopolitan,” Harper’s Bazaar” and “Elle.” The guild is still in negotiation talks with film, TV and streaming companies for guild members.
“In the last few months, the WGAE has secured contracts in the Film/TV/Streaming sector at nonfiction television companies Jigsaw Productions and Sharp Entertainment, and organized podcast workers at Crooked Media. Further, we are negotiating contracts at MSNBC and CBS News Streaming in the Broadcast/Cable/Streaming News sector,” reads the release.
The contract sidesteps an Unfair Labor Practice strike that was set to begin if a fair contract could not be reached on Friday, which comes on the heels of the walkout that took place in March and included among 500 WGAE members.
“Guild members understand the immense value they bring to Companies—whether it’s Hearst or Warner Bros. Discovery—and that they deserve, and will fight for, fair compensation and workplace protections,” the press release continued.
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