BuzzFeed News journalists are getting tired. It's been four months since they voted to form a labor union, but the company still has not officially recognized them.
Dozens of frustrated employees walked off the job Monday afternoon to protest company's delay in recognizing BuzzFeed News Union. Journalists in New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles stopped working at 2 pm to get the company's attention
I'm joining my incredible BuzzFeed News colleagues going out today to demand BuzzFeed comes back to the table to (19459011] June 17, 2019
which employs more than 200 journalists in the US, has been fighting with union representatives for months on how many employees can join the bargaining unit, according to a BuzzFeed News Union statement shared with Vox. The union, which is represented by the NewsGuild of New York, says management keeps trying to exclude the workers they claim to be managers or supervisors, even though no employees report to them
BuzzFeed says this is not true and that union is holding up the process. In an email to employees, which was shared with Vox, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said the union would not accept a proposal to define which positions would be part of the bargaining unit prior to recognition and would not agree to honor individual contracts while they negotiate a collective bargaining contract
"Despite what you may hear, we continue to have ongoing, day-to-day communication between our lawyers, and we are confident that the proposal provides a solid basis on which to move forward with collective bargaining process, "Peretti said in the email. The company's offer would recognize 77 journalists in the bargaining unit – far less than the union wants.
The past few months have been "tense," the union said in its statement, and the employees get frustrated. No other digital media company, the statement says, has taken this long to recognize a labor union during the recent wave of labor organization in the news industry.
Journalists at more than 30 digital new sites have been syndicated in the past two years to secure higher pay, benefits, and severance in a volatile industry that counted nearly 12,000 layoffs last year. And employees are more willing than ever to use aggressive tactics to get what they want. Earlier this month, more than 300 employees at Vox Media participated in one-day work stoppage during final stages of contract negotiations.
BuzzFeed has been particularly resistant to union efforts in the past, with Peretti famously shutting down a conversation on the topic in 2015. BuzzFeed employees have since watched peers at other media (19659013) The BuzzFeed walkout comes through a wave of union drives in the United States, the media industry. While newspaper journalists have a long tradition of unionizing, digital news startups built a culture that relied on a young, flexible, temporary workforce.
The thought that millennials would unionize newsrooms was once considered outlandish, especially as overall union membership has declined in US workplaces.
In 2015, the Washington Post ran an article with the title "Why Internet Journalists Do not Unionize," arguing that it has to do with "a generation of younger workers less familiar with unions who have built personal brands that they can transfer to other media companies … so writers are willing to put in long hours for low pay until they're poached by some other place, which is the only way to get a raise anyway. "
But they You're not so willing to do that anymore. Online journalists have grown weary of constant industry layoffs and unlivable salaries in expensive cities. The very public unionization process at Gawker in 2015 sparked a movement. Staffers at sites including Vice, ThinkProgress, HuffPost, Thrillist, Mic, and the Intercept soon unionized too.
"In total, the number of unionized workers in internet publishing has risen 20-fold since 2010," according to a report in the Harvard Business Review.
The benefits of unionization, which guarantees severance and annual pay raises, have only become more apparent during the series of layoffs in recent months. That's what BuzzFeed prompted journalists to organize; they voted to unionize in February, right after the company laid off 40 journalists.
"We have legitimate grievances about unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, low benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity, and more," the union wrote in announcing its launch. company, on the other hand, seems not thrilled about organizing efforts. In April, managers blew off a scheduled meeting with union representatives.
To the union: This city stands with you
To the management: Come. This. The.
– Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 4, 2019
Since then, both sides have been meeting and arguing about how big the unit will be. Meanwhile, employees are fed up, and they are willing to break business to get their point across. Since 2 pm on Monday, no news stories were posted on BuzzFeed News