Buzzfeed News Union reaches work-share deal with company to save jobs during the pandemic

Buzzfeed News Union reaches work-share deal with company to save jobs during the pandemic
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The BuzzFeed News Union announced they have reached a work-share deal with BuzzFeed that would cut salaries in an attempt to save jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The agreement will allow staffers to work 20 percent reduced weekly schedules with a 20 percent cut in pay through the end of 2020. The deal also prevents any additional workforce reductions for the rest of the year “unless BuzzFeed’s financial projections indicate specified higher-than-anticipated losses.”

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“This deal makes it clear to media companies everywhere: A solution that keeps journalists working while cutting back costs is not only possible, but the clear right choice during a time when journalism has never been more important,” the union said in a statement.

“The company may still involuntarily furlough a few News employees if their financial target isn’t fully met by other measures we’ve agreed to. But we’ve greatly reduced the number of jobs lost with work-sharing, and we’re proud to have brought a creative solution to the table.”

The agreement comes as media outlets across the country cut jobs and salaries amid declining ad revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlantic, just one of the organizations making cuts, said last week it is letting go of almost 20 percent of its staff as a result of the economic downturn.

“This is a hard time for media companies, but we strongly believe this agreement can be a template for other outlets as they weather this pandemic. Work-sharing is a win-win solution that can save money in the short term, and save entire journalism careers in the long term,” the Buzzfeed News union said. 

The agreement is modeled after a similar arrangement at the Los Angeles Times.

The BuzzFeed News Union was formed last year after the news outlet laid off about 15 percent of its workforce.