In 2018, the National Writers Union collected more than $200,000 for almost 150 unpaid freelancers by waging Group Non-Payment Grievances. Most of these were settled directly by the union. And some, with the assistance of the UAW Legal Department, had to go to court. All of the unpaid freelancers were paid 100% of what they were owed.
Non-payment and late payment continue to be a stain on our industry, and more and more, freelancers are turning to NWU to get what’s rightfully theirs. So far in 2019, we have two cases in court and have collected more than $35,000 from Pride Media, with one final payment due in June. As of this writing, a fourth case is just beginning.
The Legal Action Fund
The National Writers United Service Organization (NWUSO), a 501(c)(3), is launching a Legal Action Fund to help the union handle an increase in these Group Non-Payment Grievances that may require legal help. We are asking other unions, non-profits, writers’ organizations, and individuals to help us raise $10,000 at a fundraiser on June 20.
We need this fund for two reasons. One, the UAW Legal Dept. cannot handle every case that comes to us, in part because there are 400,000 members who have contracts to negotiate, organizing campaigns to conduct, arbitrations to resolve and countless other legal issues. Two, this fund will let publishers know that we have the ability to take them to court if needed, to get our members paid.