Podcast Picket Line Possible As iHeart Writers Threaten Strike


The iHeartPodcasts writers’ union could be walking out on America’s largest podcast studio as contract negotiations stall. iHeartMedia has yet to finalize a deal with the 100-member unit, which unionized with the WGA East more than two years ago.

The move toward a potential strike follows after writers filed unfair labor practice charges against iHeartPodcasts last month. The charges accuse iHeartMedia of violating labor laws through intimidation, restricting discussions about working conditions, and inappropriate questioning about union support.

The union has been in contract negotiations since iHeartMedia voluntarily recognized the union in 2022. Staff first started the effort back in 2021. The organization is pushing for better pay, longer parental leave, and improved health benefits.

The workers allege management has offered “insultingly low” salary proposals and resisted basic union demands like just cause for termination and guaranteed severance. Recent union activities have included distributing flyers about negotiations, which management allegedly removed swiftly and discouraged.

In a statement to Deadline, the writers said, “After 2 years at the bargaining table, we hope to finally come to an agreement with management this week. But in the case we do not come to a fair agreement, our unit needs to take action to push management to make serious proposals that meet our demands. We will not accept a contract that compromises on fair wages, or on workplace protections like fair severance and just cause, especially given that iHeart has repeatedly broken labor law by illegally attempting to intimidate union members for sharing information about our union at work.”

“We will not fold in the face of this management pressure. If we work for, in their words, ‘the #1 audio company in the United States,’ or according to the Webby Awards, ‘Podcast Company of the Year,’ our wages and benefits need to reflect our work and value to the company that made such achievements possible.”


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