If You Read This Statement It Will Tell You Why BuzzFeed Canada Is Unionizing
In the nearly four years since the BuzzFeed Canada office opened, our reporters, editors, producers, quiz-makers, sales team, and office dogs have enriched the media landscape beyond the country’s borders. Now, the majority of our 10 staff have signed union cards to join the Canadian Media Guild, a local of CWA Canada.
Our workforce may be small, but it’s mighty. BuzzFeed staff in Canada have punched above our weight, creating top-ranking entertainment content, compelling news, and founding BuzzFeed’s debunking bureau to tackle the very real threat of misinformation. Our sales team has proven time and again that a small group of dedicated workers can do wonders.
But being isolated from the New York City mothership while working alongside it has had its issues. As revealed in the recent round of layoffs, there is a lack of uniform severance and communication standards across the company. We also have serious concerns regarding contract and freelance work, as well as equal distribution of benefits. We are striving to improve transparency, equity, diversity, and better working conditions across the company.
Just this year some 2,000 media workers lost their jobs in the US and those cuts have affected Canada as well. Statistics Canada shows there are fewer journalists in the country now than there were 15 years ago. The ongoing volatility of the industry makes it necessary for workers to have a voice. This effort is in solidarity with our colleagues in the US and Germany.
Our move to unionize is not borne from a lack of trust in BuzzFeed’s leadership, but rather as a move to build a sustainable relationship that’s mutually beneficial. We believe that collective bargaining is the best means to achieve that goal. It’s our hope that management shares this belief and recognizes our union in good faith.
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