Vice UK staff move to unionise to 'share in the success' of media company

Journalists aim to form officially recognised union to tackle lack of transparency of pay and job insecurity

Vice UK staff have moved to form an officially recognised union that will seek to improve issues including the transparency of pay and the lack of job security from short term contracts.

Staff have sent a letter to colleagues trying to get enough support across the company for official recognition by the National Union of Journalists.

The email letter says that the UK office wants to follow in the footsteps of colleagues in the US, who last year unionised with the Writers Guild of America, so staff can “share in the success of the company”.

“We enjoy working at Vice. We appreciate our creative freedom. We also believe organising our workplace is the best way to keep pushing journalistic boundaries while allowing all staff to share in the success of the company,” the email says. “Vice UK staff are incredibly hard working, ambitious and creative and we like working at Vice. We are doing this because we want to continue to make the company a success while also sharing in that success.”

The letter highlights a number of areas that the leaders of the the move to unionise want to address.

There include a “fair and transparent system” for pay and benefits.

“We want pay issues addressed so everyone gets a fair deal, including freelancers,” says the email “We also believe there should be a simple process to regularly negotiate collective pay raises and improvements to benefits.”

Second on the list is job security and the need to retain talented staff and motivate the workforce through “secure contracts”.

“Short-term contracts affect our ability to plan work for the future and job insecurity means we cannot plan finances, housing, or holiday time,” says the email. “We lose talented colleagues as a result of this instability. Other areas of issue include maintaining a “work/life balance” to have reasonable expectations of time off to “recover from a pressurised work environment” and “ensure our mental and physical wellbeing”.

Vice UK staff also have issues with career progression opportunities, calling for a fair and transparent recruitment process.


Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Cambodia condemns Vice for edited photos of Khmer Rouge victims smiling
Colourised images from Tuol Sleng prison during 1970s genocide were manipulated, media group says

Rebecca Ratcliffe South-east Asia correspondent

12, Apr, 2021 @11:11 AM

Article image
Walt Disney doubles Vice stake as television expansion looms
Investment estimated at $200m comes as Vice is set to launch US cable TV network with UK and European channels also likely

David Hellier

08, Dec, 2015 @7:52 PM

Article image
The virtues of Vice: how punk magazine was transformed into media giant
It’s a hit with the millennial generation and predicts revenue of $1bn this year, so what can young company teach its rivals?

Jane Martinson

01, Jan, 2015 @5:11 PM

Article image
Vice Media buys style publication i-D
Company intends to use magazine's print following as launch pad into the fashion market with an online video channel. By Mark Sweney

Mark Sweney

18, Dec, 2012 @5:19 PM

Carl Wilkinson on how teen-zine Vice finally grew up

Vice magazine is aiming to shock in a different way with a TV channel and hard-hitting reportage. Carl Wilkinson reports

Carl Wilkinson

30, Mar, 2008 @11:43 AM

Article image
Vice Media secretly organised $20m Saudi government festival
Youth media company organised March 2020 event despite pledge to stop all work in Saudi Arabia

Jim Waterson Media editor

01, Feb, 2022 @9:00 AM

Article image
Vice magazine founders apologise over 'boys' club' culture
Media company’s founders acknowledge company has taken action over ‘multiple instances of unacceptable behaviour’

Guardian staff

24, Dec, 2017 @11:41 AM

Article image
Ed Miliband – a man without Vice
The Labour leader seemed a bit stumped when he was asked a question by one of media organisation’s journalists


17, Apr, 2015 @1:10 PM

Article image
Jeremy Paxman writes for Vice about Guantánamo Bay censorship
Former Newsnight presenter’s article about war poet Wilfred Owen being banned from prison library forms part of redesigned Vice Media website’s special report on US terror detention centre

Aisha Gani

10, Nov, 2014 @10:00 AM

Article image
Vice UK staff unionise and urge other online media to follow suit
Move comes after four months of discussions and previous attempt three years ago

Jim Waterson Media editor

25, Jul, 2019 @5:53 PM