NBC News confirmed that it is laying off a number of its employees, a decision that has sparked considerable backlash from union representatives.
The layoffs, described as impacting a double-digit number of employees within its roughly 3,500-strong workforce, are expected to affect between 50 to 100 individuals. This news comes amidst a broader trend of workforce reductions in major media outlets, including CNN, NPR, and The Washington Post.
Sources familiar with the matter indicate that those affected will receive 60 days’ notice, along with severance packages and outplacement services.
SCOOP @PuckNews: NBC News will implement layoffs across the network starting today, per sources familiar…. Total number of employees affected will be fewer than 100 (out of staff of thousands).
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) January 11, 2024
This news follows a similar round of layoffs at NBC News and MSNBC a year ago, which also impacted a double-digit number of employees, according to Deadline.
The NBC Digital NewsGuild and The NewsGuild of New York have strongly condemned the layoffs, particularly those affecting unionized staff. They assert that any changes to working conditions, including layoffs, must be negotiated, accusing NBC management of violating workers’ rights and engaging in union-busting tactics.
The letter states:
NBC management’s announcement Thursday of plans to lay off 14 Guild-represented workers as part of broader layoffs at the company.
The NBC Digital NewsGuild – which represents reporters, editors, designers, video journalists, animators, social media strategists and editorial staff of NBC News Digital – has been negotiating its first contract since union certification in 2019. Any changes to working conditions, including layoffs, must be bargained.
The NYGuild is evaluating all options and expects NBC management to bargain in good faith on these proposed layoffs as they are required to by law. “Rather than terminating more of our colleagues and stalling at the bargaining table, NBC should actually agree to a contract that respects industry standards, including just cause, with its workers,” said Carlin McCarthy, First Vice Chair of NBC Guild.
Last January, NBC illegally laid off seven union workers without bargaining, and informed several others that — while still employed — they were no longer protected by the union. The NewsGuild of New York filed unfair labor practice charges against NBC, which are still pending at Region 2 of the National Labor Relations Board, and the represented workers staged a one-day walkout in February.
“NBC management has engaged in an unrelenting pattern of union-busting since NBC Digital NewsGuild unionized, including threatening and surveilling employees who are exercising their rights as union members,” said Susan DeCarava, president of The NewsGuild of New York. “We will fight to protect our members and expect management to adhere to labor law and bargain with us.”
NEW: News Guild condemns layoffs at NBC News pic.twitter.com/SnLftuBz96
— Ben Mullin (@BenMullin) January 11, 2024