Dear fellow VICE Canada Union Members,
We wanted to take a moment to reach out to all of you after reading the article recently published in the New York Times . You may have also read the open letter released by a collective of VICE workers based in the UK that was published shortly after the article went live. The Times article and the UK open letter were both powerful statements about the climate at VICE. Although neither explicitly commented on our Canadian office, both were directly related to the work culture at VICE in general.
Firstly, we’d like to express gratitude and solidarity with our VICE colleagues who went on record (and those who remained anonymous) in speaking out about reprehensible behavior that has occurred in VICE offices. We hear you. We stand with you.
Secondly, we wanted to take this opportunity to speak directly and openly about the VICE Canada Union and the CMG’s wider approach to harassment and misconduct in the workplace. We will not tolerate sexual harassment (or harassment of any kind) at our workplace. As Jared outlined in his email before the holidays, VICE Canada has a formal investigation process for all harassment claims – and the Union is here to assist our members at every step of that process. You can speak confidentially to our CMG Staff Representatives assigned to VICE (Terri Monture in Toronto and Karen Wirsig in Montreal) about harassment or misconduct that you have experienced personally or that you have witnessed. Even if you are just confused or curious about something that’s happened and need someone to talk to in private, Terri and Karen can help. If a union member is alleged to be involved in an incident, they will also be assigned a staff rep from the CMG to ensure that their rights under the Collective Agreement are being respected during any investigative process.
Thirdly, we were encouraged to see the bold proposals outlined by Sarah Broderick and Susan Tohyama in their recent emails to VICE Global Staff. Now we need to hold VICE accountable to make sure the changes and initiatives they have proposed are put into place and maintained as we move forward together. Your Union looks forward to working with VICE Canada Management to help enact these changes and to assist with programs like anti-harassment and bystander training as well as initiatives proposed by the Canadian Women@VICE and Diversity & Inclusion Committees.
From factory workers to movie stars to hotel employees to our colleagues at VICE around the world, it has become clear over the past few months that sexual harassment is pervasive, insidious, and toxic. And it can no longer be tolerated. We pledge to work with you and with our managers to help curb this problem immediately.
Your VICE Canada Union Executive