New York City – The National Writers Union is now representing 20 freelance contributors to Nautilus Magazine, who are owed more than $50,000 for work that was contracted, produced and published. As this campaign is going public today, we expect that the number of writers and the amount owed will increase.
Nautilus has gone on to win top industry recognition, including multiple National Magazine Awards and Webbies, at least in part based on this unpaid work. Some of these writers have been waiting more than a year to be paid. Their rent, groceries and utility bills have not waited.
Sad to say, freelancers getting stiffed by publishers is not news. What is news is that more freelancers are fighting back and NWU is their vehicle. Over the past five years, we won more than $160,000 for freelancers at Natural Solutions and Heart & Soul magazines. We are currently in court representing 48 freelancers who are owed more than $80,000 by Ebony Media Organization. And we are representing five writers who are owed more than $20,000 by Uptown magazine.
Freelancers are learning, and demonstrating, that even though we often work alone, under individual contracts, there is strength in numbers, and in a union. By taking on the issue of non-payment, striving to negotiate additional freelance contracts like the one we signed with The Nation this year, fighting to establish a base pay rate for freelancers and helping to establish the FreelanceIsn’tFree law in New York last year, NWU is fighting for economic justice for the growing freelance workforce.
The National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981) is a national labor union and advocacy organization for freelance and contract writers in all genres, media, and formats. The NWU works to defend the rights and improve the economic and working conditions of all writers. The NWU’s members include journalists, book authors, business and technical writers, Web site and email newsletter content providers, bloggers, academic writers, editors, poets, playwrights, and other writers. (A Press Release from the NWU)