Gawker Media has come to an agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East, after showing interest in joining the union last month.

According to the Guild, Gawker will take part in a secret-ballot vote next Wednesday, in which it will determine if they wish to form a union.

The election is the first of its kind, as Gawker’s editorial staff will be permitted to determine whether they wish to form a union. The traditional process of a union authorization normally runs through the National Labor Relations Board.

In a statement, Gawker and the Guild said: “Nothing of the kind exists at Gawker Media. We are united in our belief that writers should decide for themselves whether to organize to protect their own rights through collective bargaining, and we hope the labor drive at Gawker Media, culminating in the June 3 election, can serve as a new model for cooperation in digital media.”

The Guild indicated that for more than six years it has examined the digital technology business in order to “ensure that writers have a seat at the table as new business and creative models are developed.”

Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, added: “Digital technology is dissolving the old distinctions between genres and platforms, and Gawker has built a sustainable model of investigating and reporting original stories online. We share Gawker’s commitment to free speech, its support for independent voices and diversity. Like the writers at Gawker, the Guild’s members are committed to crafting compelling stories, whether to inform or entertain, whether as satire or drama or news.”

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