Freelancers Find a Friend in Gawker

By Staff

<p>Last month, when Viacom’s contract workers and freelancers learned that their benefits were getting the ax, their cause found an unlikely ally: Gawker.com. Perhaps in search of some karmic equilibrium following the revelation of its own questionable labor practices (see <a title=”Sarah Pumroy’s post” href=”https://www.utne.com/media/gawker-gets-newsier-snarky-backlash-inevitable.aspx”>Sarah Pumroy’s post</a> on the site’s new pay-per-page-view system), Gawker <a title=”went to bat for Viacom workers” href=”http://gawker.com/news/strike/the-viacom-walkout-it-is-on-331863.php” target=”_blank”>went to bat for Viacom workers</a> by posting fliers for a Dec. 10 walkout on its website. Gawker–known for its witty, often offensive take on the news–even offered a serious, albeit patently snarky, analysis of the situation, including a look at the <a title=”ins and outs of freelancing” href=”http://gawker.com/news/analysis/how-to-tell-if-youre-a-freelancer-or-an-employee-332170.php” target=”_blank”>ins and outs of freelancing</a>.</p>
<p>In <a title=”an article for the<I> Nation</I>” href=”http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071231/kamenetz” target=”_blank”>an article for the<i> Nation</i>
</a>, Anya Kamenetz discusses Viacom’s reliance on non-union freelancers–who often contribute as much as their salaried counterparts–and the myriad ways the media behemoth maintains its bottom line at their expense. But things may be looking up: A few days after the walkout, Viacom <a title=”announced additional healthcare options” href=”http://gawker.com/news/breaking/in-major-reversal-viacom-returns-healthcare-to-freelancers-333154.php” target=”_blank”>announced additional healthcare options</a> for some workers.</p>
<p>–<i>
<a href=”https://www.utne.com/bios/utne-reader-interns.aspx”>Morgan Winters</a>
</i>
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