Buzzfeed

BuzzFeed News employees vote to unionize after mass layofffs

Inside BuzzFeed headquarters in New York City.
Inside BuzzFeed headquarters in New York City. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Employees at BuzzFeed News announced Tuesday they have voted to unionize with the NewsGuild of New York, claiming in a statement that they have "legitimate grievances about unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, weak benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity and more."

Why it matters: This comes weeks after the company laid off more than 220 employees, or roughly 15% of its workforce, including jobs within its news division. It is a huge blow to BuzzFeed's leadership, which has in the past suggested that it could be a better advocate for employees than a union could be.

VC-backed media companies aren't like software companies

An illustration of a toothpaste tube that is squeezing out a $1 bill
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Last week's triple-digit layoffs at BuzzFeed and Vice were blamed, in many digital media quarters, on unrealistic growth expectations by those companies' venture capitalists. Kind of like what we heard after Mic shut down, except louder.

Yes, but: It's more complicated than that.

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