February 13, 2019: “Just weeks after BuzzFeed laid off more than 200 people in January, employees at the digital news brand voted to unionize on Tuesday, according to the NewsGuild of New York. More than 90% of eligible employees voted in favor of the move.

A statement delivered to BuzzFeed News editor in chief Ben Smith listed a number of demands, including contractually-guaranteed paid time off, due process for termination, greater newsroom diversity, “reasonable” severance for layoffs, a 401(k) plan, “affordable” health insurance, and author rights to creative works.”

 

February 12, 2019: “Employees at BuzzFeed News have agreed to form a union to address what organizers called “unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, weak benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity, and more” — and the company signaled it is open to voluntary recognition.

The union's announcement on Tuesday came little more than two weeks after BuzzFeed laid off roughly 15% of its workforce, or more than 200 employees — cuts that hit the news division hard in bureaus in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and New York.

“We look forward to meeting with the organizers to discuss a way toward voluntarily recognizing their union,” Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, said.”

 

February 12, 2019: “After a crushing round of layoffs that sent shockwaves through the newsroom, BuzzFeed's editorial staff announced on Tuesday that they have formed a union to grapple with the threats looming over the media industry.

Employees have informed BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith of their intentions, according to the NewsGuild of New York — the union with which BuzzFeed is organizing. NewsGuild said that more than 90% of ‘eligible editorial employees signed on to the union effort.’

In a statement Tuesday, Smith said, ‘We look forward to meeting with the organizers to discuss a way toward voluntarily recognizing their union.’”

 

February 12, 2019: “Journalists at BuzzFeed News’ U.S. operation announced Tuesday that, after years of organizing efforts, staffers are going public with their intention to unionize.

The announcement comes on the heels of BuzzFeed cutting 15 percent of its workforce in January, capping off a month in which sweeping layoffs left more than 1,000 digital media employees without jobs. The media organization is also reportedly considering a merger with Group Nine, a digital publisher that owns several media brands, including Thrillist and NowThis, to better position itself against giants like Facebook, which monopolize digital advertising dollars.”

 

 

February 12, 2019: “Employees at BuzzFeed News have voted to unionize, weeks after executives at the digital-media company announced substantial layoffs to steer the startup to profitability.

In a letter explaining their decision to unionize, which was delivered to BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith Tuesday evening, employees said pay disparities, lack of benefits and “mismanaged pivots and layoffs” were among the grievances that drove the union effort. The union said it would represent more than 120 people in all.”

 

February 12, 2019: “Two weeks after BuzzFeed hollowed out its newsroom laying off 220 employees or 15 percent of its workforce in the process of eliminating its entire national desk and national security team, among others, those that survived the bloodletting announced Tuesday they has agreed to unionize. ‘It’s not all fun and memes,’ the union organizing committee said in a statement Tuesday. ‘Our staff has been organizing for several months, and we have legitimate grievances about unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, weak benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity and more.’”

 

February 12, 2019: “After over 200 people were laid off during a week of media bloodbaths last month, BuzzFeed News employees have finally decided to unionize, according to a statement from their organizing committee.

‘It’s not all fun and memes,’ the statement says. ‘Our staff has been organizing for several months, and we have legitimate grievances about unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, weak benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity and more.’

The employees will work with NewsGuild of New York, a union that represents the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Daily Beast.”

 

February 12, 2019: “A month after BuzzFeed laid off 15 percent of its workforce its editorial staff responded Tuesday with the announcement that they planned to form a union.

‘It’s not all fun and memes,’ the staff’s organizing committee said in a statement. ‘Our staff has been organizing for several months, and we have legitimate grievances about unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, weak benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity and more.’”

 

February 12, 2019: “BuzzFeed employees announced Tuesday they have formed a union after more than 200 people were laid off last month.

Over 90 percent of editorial employees supported the unionization, which was delivered to the site’s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, according to a press release.

Employees will work with the NewsGuild of New York, which already represents the New York Times, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.”

 

February 12, 2019: “BuzzFeed News employees announced Tuesday they are unionizing after the news outlet laid off about 15 percent of its workforce last month.

“Our staff has been organizing for several months, and we have legitimate grievances about unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, weak benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity, and more,” the employees said in a statement.”

 

February 12, 2019: “BuzzFeed Inc.’s journalists, reeling from a round of layoffs, have decided to unionize, organizers announced Tuesday, demanding that their employer recognize the union immediately.

About 90% of workers supported the decision to join NewsGuild, a labor union that’s part of the Communications Workers of America, BuzzFeed News reporter Salvador Hernandez said on Twitter.”

 

February 12, 2019: “Last month, BuzzFeed laid off more than 220 employees, or 15 percent of its work force. On Wednesday, employees at the company’s news division responded with the announcement that they planned to form a union.

‘It’s not all fun and memes,’ the organizing committee said in a statement. ‘Our staff has been organizing for several months, and we have legitimate grievances about unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, weak benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity and more.’”

 

January 28, 2019: “BuzzFeed will pay recently laid off employees for the paid time off they had earned but not used, it said Monday, reversing course after hundreds of current and former staffers signed an open letter demanding that it do so.

Employees were informed of the decision in an evening email from Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed's founder and chief executive.

Moving forward, a BuzzFeed spokesperson told CNN Business that company leadership was evaluating its overall policy of paying outgoing employees earned paid time off.”

 

This letter was originally published on behalf of the BuzzFeed News Staff Council, and was signed by 600 employees across the company.

January 26, 2019: “For many people, paying out PTO will be the difference between whether or not bills and student loans will be paid on time and how their families are supported. It is unconscionable that BuzzFeed could justify doing so for some employees and not others in order to serve the company’s bottom line.

We, the undersigned, stand together in demanding that BuzzFeed pay out earned PTO to all laid-off employees, regardless of the state they live in, to eliminate this disparity. It is the only just way to proceed — especially as this round of layoffs has been so damaging to your workforce as a whole — to pay your employees for the time they earned while working so hard to make BuzzFeed a successful company.”

 

November 20, 2018: “BuzzFeed will end its requirement of mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims — a policy that prevents workers from airing their grievances in open court — after BuzzFeed News raised questions about the company’s policy as part of a larger investigation into the practice in the tech industry.

The move follows a raft of similar decisions from other technology companies, several of which changed their positions after BuzzFeed News approached them with the question, ‘Will your company, in all cases, end your policy of requiring employee sexual-harassment claims to be settled in private arbitration?’”

 

July 18, 2018: “Staff at BuzzFeed UK have voted against union recognition in a secret ballot conducted by the independent Central Arbitration Committee, which was the final step to resolve whether the London editorial team would unionize the newsroom.

BuzzFeed management told staff on Wednesday that members in the potential 29-member bargaining unit voted against union recognition with the National Union of Journalists.”

 

November 30, 2016: “Under British law, employees have the legal right to form a union regardless of management’s position towards unionisation.

On 25 November, the NUJ sent a letter to BuzzFeed UK editor-in-chief Janine Gibson requesting union recognition for collective-bargaining purposes for London-based editorial employees.

‘We are hopeful you will see this as a positive and productive step in the long-term development of BuzzFeed UK,’ wrote the NUJ organiser. ‘Your staff are very keen to emphasise they all enjoy working for BuzzFeed UK, and believe in building a sustainable business with you.’

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti responded in an email to London staff on Wednesday, stating: ‘Before any decision is made, it is incredibly important to me that I have a direct line of communication with all of you, that I know about any concerns, complaints, or suggestions for improvement you have, and that we can speak openly and directly with each other.’”

 

August 14, 2015: “BuzzFeed's founder and CEO Jonah Peretti has told staff that he doesn't think unionization is ‘the right idea’ for BuzzFeed.

‘I think unions have had a positive impact on a lot of places, like if you're working on an assembly line,’ Peretti said at a company meeting. In such cases, ‘if you're negotiating with management it can make a huge difference, particularly when labor is more replaceable.’”