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BuzzFeed News employees hold walkout to force management to recognize union

About 115 to 125 employees were expected to attend the event, a representative of the NewsGuild of New York, representing the employees, told CNN Business.

The walkout took place at BuzzFeed News' four US offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC, the NewsGuild of New York announced in its press release.

"Our members are tired of the stagnation of management and demand that they come back to the table in good faith," Grant Glickson, president of NewsGuild of New York, said in a press release. "The BuzzFeed Newsroom is fully supported by all NewsGuild members, and we support them every step of the way."

In New York, BuzzFeed News staff members also held a rally in front of BuzzFeed headquarters. Staff signs kept That said, "RECOGNIZE THE UNION BUZZFEED!"
BuzzFeed News employees have been negotiating for four months with management on union recognition. The effort intensified after a series of layoffs in January that highlighted instability at BuzzFeed and other digital information stores like this one.

Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, said in an email to employees Monday that the company "made an offer two weeks ago to voluntarily recognize NewsGuild as a representative of a BuzzFeed News syndicate" .

Peretti described the proposal as "the product of more than three months of discussions and negotiations with the NewsGuild" and "both sensitive to the demands of our employees and attentive to the operation of the company".

"Since we made our offer on June 4, press teams have refused to accept it, instead seeking to impose additional requirements that threaten our progress in voluntary recognition," Peretti wrote.

Peretti said the two sides remained in stalemate.

According to Peretti, the first issue is a request from the union "to withdraw from the recognition agreement the list of job titles that will be excluded from the union". Peretti said the list was "important because the company needs a reliable and consistent way of identifying employees and new employees who are included and excluded from the bargaining unit".

The second problem, according to Peretti, is BuzzFeed's ability to offer individual contracts to certain employees. Mr. Peretti stated that the union had no objection to BuzzFeed providing some employees with contracts "more generous than the terms of a future collective agreement". But he said the union opposed the company's ability to provide such contracts when negotiating a collective agreement.

A NewsGuild of New York representative did not immediately receive a response from Peretti's e-mail.

The BuzzFeed News strike comes just weeks after hundreds of Vox Media employees staged a walkout to force management to reach a deal on a union contract. Vox Media and its employees finally reached an agreement shortly thereafter.

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