Workers at HuffPost Canada and Huffpost Quebec filed for union certification with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) on Tuesday after a majority of staffers signed cards showing support for joining CWA Canada, which is part of The NewsGuild-CWA.
“In an increasingly unstable industry, we want to solidify what we love about working at HuffPost, as well as improve conditions for both current and future employees,” organizing committee members said in a statement.
The filing is part of a wave of unionization among Canadian digital media employees. Workers at BuzzFeed Canada, VICE Canada, Canada’s National Observer, and Canadaland have also joined CWA Canada in the last two years.
Buzzfeed announced in November 2020 that it was acquiring HuffPost in a stock deal with Verizon. The U.S. branches of both publications are unionized.
“Our editorial mandate at HuffPost, shared by our new bosses at BuzzFeed, is focused on equity and fairness,” workers said. “We want these values to be reflected in the way our newsroom functions.”
They intend to fight for:
- Fair compensation, including salary minimums, pay scales to ensure equal pay for equal work, transparency, and clear paths to promotions, and raises, as well as establishing retirement savings plans and improving benefits.
- Fair notice in advance of layoffs, the option to negotiate alternatives and fair severance packages.
- Fair treatment of contractors, who do the same work as full-time employees but are paid by a third-party company and don’t receive benefits.
- HuffPost and BuzzFeed’s commitments to diversity should be reflected in the makeup of their newsrooms and across all functions and levels of the organizations.
CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon welcomed the group: “These are tough times in the media industry and it is more important than ever that people have a real say in their workplace – for their own good and for the success of the company,” he said.
Follow HuffPost Canada Union on Twitter @HuffPostCAunion.