Buzzfeed News Voluntarily Recognizes BuzzFeed News Union
For Immediate Release | July 23, 2019
Media Inquiries: Josh Austin, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York -- Over five months after announcing their union drive, the editorial employees of BuzzFeed News officially secured NewsGuild representation after a card-check was conducted at BuzzFeed News headquarters this afternoon. A third party verified that a majority of staffers elected to be represented by the NewsGuild of New York after more than 90% of eligible staff signed to the effort.
The 80-member bargaining unit consists of reporters, editors and designers working for BuzzFeed News across the nation. Voluntary recognition of the union comes on the heels of an extremely contentious five months of negotiations over who was eligible for the bargaining unit.
Frustration with management reached a tipping point in June, when employees staged a four-hour walkout on June 17, 2019, to protest managements’ hardball tactics and mark the four months that had passed without their union being recognized.
BuzzFeed News employees are eager to get to the bargaining table and begin the process of negotiating their first collective bargaining agreement.
“I’m proud of the hard, fearless work the organizing committee and the BuzzFeed newsroom has done so that we can advocate for ourselves in our workplace,” said Rachel Sanders, Deputy Culture Editor and member of the Organizing Committee. “We stayed strong in the face of fierce resistance from BuzzFeed management. Now that we’re finally recognized, I’m excited to bargain for a contract that will not only make this a stronger newsroom and company, but raise the bar for how workers are treated across our industry.”
"We've had overwhelming support from our BuzzFeed News colleagues across the United States, and we're thrilled to form a union after five months of hostile responses and delays from company executives,” said Dominic Holden, Politics Reporter and member of the Organizing Committee. “Unionization is now the norm in newsrooms, so it’s nice to see BuzzFeed finally catching up with the rest of the industry in ensuring workplace standards only a union can offer.”
In a mission statement presented to Buzzfeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith back in February, employees stated that “Our staff is uniting to demand a contract that guarantees paid time off is actually paid. We demand an agreement that requires due process for termination, a diverse newsroom, reasonable severance amid layoffs, a competitive 401(k), rights to our creative works, and affordable health insurance. We believe it’s urgent that our management address unfair pay disparities. We also believe that employees on contract — permalancers, who are paid through a third party but are functionally members of our team — deserve the same treatment.”
“It has been our members’ determination that has finally secured recognition,” said Grant Glickson, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “These workers have held BuzzFeed management accountable every day in demanding the recognition they deserve. We look forward to establishing a bargaining relationship that will lead to fair and equitable contract for our members at BuzzFeed News.”
The NewsGuild-CWA is the largest union for media professionals in the country, representing 24,000 members across the country, including The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.
About the NewsGuild of New York
The NewsGuild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America is a labor union representing nearly 3,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, The New Yorker, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.
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