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BuzzFeed votes to unionize after layoffs



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

In a statement Tuesday, Smith said, "We look forward to meeting with the organizers to discuss how to voluntarily recognize their union."

BuzzFeed, once a darling in the digital media space, laid off 15% of its workforce last month. Employees took to Medium to write an open letter to the company's leadership team to express anger over BuzzFeed's decision not to pay the lay-off staffers for earned paid off time. CEO Jonah Peretti eventually relented after the backlash.

However, it seems that the effort to unionize started before the latest round of cuts, with NewsGuild calling it a "months long organizing drive." Included in the demands are PTO payouts, reasonable severance and due process for termination ̵

1; and a list that shows that staffers are bracing for more turmoil

 Vice to lay off 10% of the workforce

Albert Samaha, an investigative reporter at BuzzFeed, said in a press release on Tuesday that he and his colleagues were motivated by the increased tumult in the news media industry – a lack of which was accentuated last month when BuzzFeed and other publications suffered severe and severe cuts

"This is a turbulent time in our industry, and we have seen that our company and our management can only do so much to protect us from "[19659902] BuzzFeed joins a host of other digital media stores that have been syndicated in recent years, but staffers there could face a stiffer test in gaining recognition from management," said Samaha. Jonah Peretti, the co-founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, said in the past that he does not think union is "right" for the company.

Peretti did not immediately respond to a request for comment


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