Canadian staff at digital media company BuzzFeed file for union certification

TORONTO — Canadian staff at digital media company BuzzFeed Inc. have filed for union certification, saying they want to secure their working conditions and improve transparency through collective bargaining.The Canadian Media Guild, the largest local of media union CWA Canada, said Tuesday it is filing with the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Canada Industrial Relations Board after a majority of BuzzFeed’s 10 staff members in Toronto signed union cards.A news release from the union says the move comes at the same time as BuzzFeed workers in the United States and Germany seek certification, which is part of a wave of recent unionization in digital media after VICE Canada joined CMG and CWA Canada in 2016.BuzzFeed did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The company laid off 15 per cent of its workforce, or about 220 people, across the United States and at international bureaus last month.Staff at BuzzFeed Canada say in a statement that the ongoing volatility of the industry makes it necessary for workers to have a voice.“Our move to unionize is not born from a lack of trust in BuzzFeed’s leadership, but rather as a move to build a sustainable relationship that’s mutually beneficial,” the statement says. “We believe that collective bargaining is the best means to achieve that goal.” The Canadian Press