Secretly Group Union ratifies contract with Label Management – Rolling Stone
The Secretly Group union has confirmed and ratified a contract with its employers, marking a milestone for one of the first independent record label staff to unionize.
The SGU announced the news on Twitter on Tuesday evening, October 11, writing, “We are delighted to announce that contract negotiations have been completed and our members have voted to ratify the contract! It was a long and very difficult fight, but we couldn’t be more proud to be the first independent label group union. We hope it’s a beacon for other labels and other people struggling to work in music. Our vote was a controversial decision, and we already know why we come back when it’s time to get back to the table.
Secretly is one of the largest independent music companies, comprising five labels – Secretly Canadian, Dead Oceans, JagJaguwar, Ghostly International and archival label Numero Group – as well as distribution and publishing arms. The list of these labels includes heavyweights such as Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, Yoko Ono, Sharon Van Etten, Mitski, the War on Drugs and Khruangbin.
Secretly Group staff members first announced plans to unionize in March 2021 in hopes of securing a contract that would allow them to tackle issues such as low pay, care benefits inadequate health care and the desire for more transparency and representation in the workforce. To help their organizing efforts, Secretly employees have worked with the International Union of Office and Professional Workers, which represents the administrative staff of several major label groups.
At the time, a member of the organizing committee, who had spoken with rolling stone anonymously, explained: “We’ve all had friends say to us, ‘Oh, you’re so lucky. You work with music, you get a free ticket to a show or free drinks,” but drinks, shows and music don’t pay our rent or provide us with the support we need. We obviously have a real passion for what we do. We love our roster, and we’re really proud of all the music we put out, and we’re proud to be able to work on it. But that doesn’t replace the kinds of benefits and compensations we need to continue to be able to do that.
For its part, Secretly Group agreed to voluntarily recognize the union shortly after the initial announcement, although it still took more than a year for negotiations to conclude and the contract to be ratified. The SGU also acknowledged that, despite the contract, there was still work to be done, writing“The fight never ends with a first contract – we’re excited to step up with the energy this contract brings to Secretly and our industry at large to continue standing up for our workers and everyone in the security industry. music.”
On Twitter, Dead Oceans shared a message saying, “This deal marks a new chapter in Secretly’s ongoing commitment to our people, our workplace, and the core values we bring to artists and label partners every day. A heartfelt note of thanks is in order: to everyone involved in reaching today’s deal, to the depth of trust and respect colleagues have placed in each other and in this process , as well as the efforts and work undertaken to reach this important milestone. »