New York City, January 31 – Today the NWU announced that we have a signed settlement with Nautilus magazine resolving a non-payment grievance with twenty Nautilus freelancers. In mid-December, the freelancers filed the grievance with NWU for help in seeking payment of over $60,000 owed to them for articles published in the National Magazine Award-winning science magazine. Prior to today’s signed settlement, almost $10,000 of that sum was collected with five of the writers being paid in full. This settlement will cover the remaining writers who collectively are owed about $50,000.
Nautilus freelancer Jessica Siegel was one of the organizers of this effort. She said, “For more than a year, we writers toiled individually on our own trying to collect from Nautilus Magazine. For me, this negotiated payment plan demonstrates how group action gets results where individuals are ignored. I hope this inspires other writers and creative workers to see the power in joining together.” Nautilus writer Mark Harris said, “It has been over a year and a half since I completed my assignment for Nautilus, and I had almost given up hope of ever being paid for the work I did. While I haven’t received any money yet, this agreement is a step in the right direction.”
NWU President Larry Goldbetter said, “We are hopeful that this agreement will set an example for other publishers. It shows that when freelancers organize together, we will not accept “Maybe” for an answer when it comes to whether or not we should be paid for our work. When freelancers stand together, it changes the whole equation. This underlines the need for a strong union of freelance writers and more legal protections for us.”
The case at Nautilus is one of a number of similar group non-payment grievances the NWU is currently involved in. At Ebony magazine, the NWU is representing 48 writers who are owed more than $80,000. In that case, the next court date is Feb. 20 in Chicago. NWU is also representing four writers owed $20,000 by Uptown magazine in NYC.