Employees at BuzzFeed News have agreed to form a union to decide which organizers are called "unfair pay differentials, varying fluctuations and redundancies, weak benefits, skyrocketing costs, diversity and much more" – and the company signaled that it is open to voluntary recognition.
The fund's announcement on Tuesday came just over two weeks after BuzzFeed had made around 15% of the workforce, or over 200 employees, cuts that hit the news division hard in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC and New York agencies.
"We look forward to meeting with the organizers to discuss a way to voluntarily recognize their union," said Ben Smith, editor of BuzzFeed News.
The employees have organized under NewsGuild of New York. The organizational work goes back to 201
Dominic Holden, a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and a member of the Organizing Committee, said in an interview that the employees were well on their way to unionization before the last round of layoffs. However, he said the latest cuts made it clear that we needed a contract to protect workers during periods of intense transition. "
BuzzFeeds CEO Jonah Peretti has publicly stated that he does not believe that a union is the one
Peretti has recently agreed – after meeting with BuzzFeed News Staff Council, an internal group of newsroom representatives across US agencies – to compensate for redundant employees for unused holiday and complete days despite the fact that they were not legally required to do so in some states, especially New York.
BuzzFeed News is on its way to being one of the last major news to unite in the aftermath of industry pressures that have shrunk many media. HuffPost ratified a contract with the new formed employee association in 2017, which covers over 200 employees. And last year, Los Angeles Times employees voted overwhelmingly to form a union after years of turmoil and deep press releases.