Credit: The Ringer Union

Following nearly three months of negotiations, the Ringer Union has a deal.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, the union announced that it has ratified its new collective bargaining agreement with the Bill Simmons-founded company, which includes new protections for the use of AI.

“We’re thrilled to share that The Ringer Union has ratified our new contract with 100% yes votes,” the Ringer Union wrote. “On Artificial Intelligence: The company can’t use AI to recreate employees’ voice or likeness without their permission. Pods translated into other languages using AI will receive disclaimers upon request. Employees can decline bylines on content with substantial AI contributions.”

While the Ringer Union secured other benefits, including increases in raises and severance, the AI protections are notable as it appeared to be one of the final hurdles in coming to an agreement. On March 2 — days after the previous CBA expired — the Ringer Union wrote on X: “We still do not have an agreement because Spotify will not commit to key safeguards against the creep of AI into our work. Our members have fought hard for a fair contract, yet we’re being forced to wait longer on an issue that Spotify dragged their feet on for month.”

The union also noted that The Ringer’s parent company, Spotify, wanted to use AI to translate podcasts into other languages.

Ultimately, the Ringer Union announced on March 7 that it had reached an agreement — a full week after the previous CBA had expired and nearly three months after negotiations first began. All things considered, the union seems happy with its new deal, although it’s worth noting that at this point, we have only heard from one side of the negotiations.

[Ringer Union on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.