Members of the HuffPost Union issued a statement Monday that they are ready to strike if a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached before the current contract expires Tuesday at midnight.
“With two days of bargaining left, 98% of the 91-member HuffPost Union signed on to a strike pledge, committing to strike if a fair agreement is not reached,” read the statement. The union will continue negotiating with HuffPost and parent company BuzzFeed through Tuesday.
The strike pledge, which was delivered to management during Monday’s bargaining session, reads, “We, the members of the HuffPost Union, are committed to a collective bargaining agreement that reflects the realities of the economy, our changing industry, and the issues most important to our unit.”
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Union members are seeking “competitive compensation, annual wage increases that keep up with the cost of living, fair severance, a secure financial future, health and safety provisions that acknowledge COVID-19 is still a work hazard, a real path to career growth, and a slate of benefits and company policies that match HuffPost’s stated interest in worker well-being, health and safety.”
“We will not accept any collective bargaining agreement without these guarantees. We are prepared to strike,” the statement continued.
The HuffPost Union faulted management for “a lack of preparedness and urgency,” and for not offering
economic counter proposals last week. “Their most recent economic proposal would result in lower yearly wage increases for about 90% of our members at a time of high inflation. This is not a serious proposal and is not acceptable to our members. We hope this strike pledge shows management that we are united in our pursuit of a fair contract,” the union’s statement added.
“Our goal is a collective bargaining agreement that recognizes the value of the work our members do at HuffPost, and we are willing to fight for it,” Writers Guild of America, East executive director Lowell Peterson said.
A spokesperson for HuffPost told TheWrap, “We are currently negotiating at the bargaining table and are optimistic that we can reach a resolution with the HuffPost union by the expiration of the current CBA.”
BuzzFeed’s acquisition of HuffPost officially closed in Feb. 2021. On March 9, 2021, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said that the company had lost “around $20 million” in 2020 and announced that they were shutting down HuffPost Canada.
In December, BuzzFeed laid off 180 workers, just days after employees staged a walkout over the company’s decision to go public.
Their union at the time stated, “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.”