BuzzFeed’s Union Announces Walk Out The Same Day As Shareholders Vote To Go Public
by Harry Wilmerding –
BuzzFeed News employees announced Thursday that they would walk out on the job the same day that shareholders are scheduled to vote on whether to take the company public.
Workers walked out after saying they engaged in nearly two years of stalled contract negations related to salary increases and creative control, according to a tweet from the BuzzFeed News Union.
“We’ve been bargaining our contract for almost 2 years, but BuzzFeed won’t budge on critical issues like wages — all while preparing to go public and make executives even richer,” BuzzFeed News Union wrote in a tweet.
BuzzFeed shareholders are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to take the company public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). If voters approve, the company will start trading on Monday under the stock ticker BZFD, the Huffpost reported.
The BuzzFeed News Union demands that management increase its current 1% guaranteed annual raise and base salary of $50,000. Workers argue that their current wages are not enough to afford to live in cities like New York or San Francisco, where BuzzFeed has its newsrooms.
Additionally, the union says that management regulates creative work outside of BuzzFeed too heavily.
“We live a large part of our lives online, especially in the ongoing pandemic, and BuzzFeed management is trying to stake out ownership over those lives, our free time, and hobbies,” the union wrote.
Finally, the union demands that employees gathering fewer “pageviews and clicks” not be disciplined for these results.
“Pageviews and clicks are not something an individual employee can control and are often influenced by social media algorithms and reader biases,” the union wrote.
BuzzFeed acquired Huffpost from Verizon Media in November 2020 and later announced a merger with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners in June with the goal of going public.
BuzzFeed and the BuzzFeed News Union did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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