BuzzFeed Going Public Amid Worker Protest

Buzzfeed has always been one of the private media companies that has always had a large reach at any given time. Buzzfeed blew up for their popular quizzes and their compelling stories. While Buzzfeed has always been working in the private sector, the founders of the company decided to move it and operate it in the public sector. The company voted on Thursday to make the company public, and co-founder, Jonah Peretti, stated that the larger goal is to be obtained by a acquisition company. The company went public today, Monday December 6th 2021. While going public, Buzzfeed also acquired the company, Complex Networks which is a sports and entertainment publisher for $300 million.

While so many good things are happening to the company, a lot of employees did not agree with the higher-ups decisions. Union employees under the news division at Buzzfeed, subsequently named Buzzfeed News, staged a mini protest in the form of stopping all work for the day. The protest was staged to speed up negotiations regarding contracts. The union claims that Buzzfeed refuses to alter or budge any contracts yet to come and the union is not backing down. The Union claims that Buzzfeed was proposing that there will be a, “1% guaranteed annual wage increase and a minimum salary of $50,000.” (Robertson et Eavis, 2021). This issues shows a greater issue that other companies are facing left and right. We are in the middle of what companies like to call a ‘labor shortage’, however, employees and unions are finally refusing to work for less than they deserve and they are making the companies realize that.

“We deserve a strong contract that protects us and ensures a fair and equitable workplace for everyone in our unit,”

Katie Notopoulos, senior tech reporter, in an interview with the New York Times.

Negotiations hope to continue tomorrow, Tuesday December 7th. Without the proper workforce, Buzzfeed’s growth that they have been experiencing, since purchasing the Huffington Post from Verizon, will slowly come to a stop. If Buzzfeed wants to keep the same momentum that people are giving them and be dubbed the ‘future of news media’ then they will have to focus on keeping the union and their employees happy.

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