After layoffs in January, remaining BuzzFeed U.S. journalists agreed to unionize. The workers joined NewsGuild, which is part of the Communication Workers of America. The January layoffs eliminated 15% of BuzzFeed’s headcount and gutted several parts of the newsroom.
The cutbacks at BuzzFeed were not unique. They were part of a wave of layoffs at media outlets including Verizon Communications Inc.’s HuffPost division and Gannett Inc.’s newspapers, as publishers continue to struggle to find profitable business models.
The tumult has led journalists at several outlets to opt for collective bargaining. Employees at Mashable, Vice Media and Gizmodo Media Group have all voted to join unions in the last couple of years, as have others covered by this blog here, here, and here.
Towing the politically correct line, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief said, “We look forward to meeting with the organizers to discuss a way toward voluntarily recognizing their union.”
Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.