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Condé Nast has voluntarily recognized a worker union at a number of its remaining non-union publications as well as its production arm, Condé Nast Entertainment.
The union was voluntarily recognized after a card check took place on Friday afternoon, the NewsGuild of New York — the union that workers aligned themselves with — announced later that day. The bargaining units involved include 500 staffers working across video, editorial and production at brands including Allure, Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Glamour, GQ, Self, Teen Vogue, them., Vanity Fair and Vogue as well as Condé Nast Entertainment, and encompasses around 100 subcontracted workers. The four new bargaining units involved are called U.S. Digital Video Production, Programming and Development; Editorial Brands and Centers of Excellence; Commerce; and Audience Development and Social. (The NewsGuild of New York already represents workers at The New Yorker, Wired, Pitchfork and Ars Technica.)
In a comment, a Condé Nast spokesperson stated, “After productive conversations with the NewsGuild over the past few months, we have agreed to voluntarily recognize four new editorial and business units. We’re looking forward to working together on our collective bargaining agreements following successful contracts with The New Yorker, Ars Technica and Pitchfork unions and the pending contract with WIRED.”
These latest workers at the company to attempt to unionize first went public with their efforts in March 2022, when they sent a letter to management asking for voluntary recognition. At the time, workers emphasized that the prestige of the brands where they worked was at odds with their actual compensation and said they had issues with overwork and long hours, job security, the company’s return-to-office guidelines and diversity and equity at the company.
“We are ecstatic to have finally achieved this historic win, and proud to have fought to include myself and so many other long-term employees who have been unfairly divided between staff and ‘permalance’ work,” Jess Lane, a Condé Nast Entertainment staffer and organizing committee member, said in a statement. “My colleagues and I have shown through our organizing that we will not settle for these precarious working conditions. A lot of our problems exist across our industry and we hope that other companies and workplaces take notice.”
In 2018, editorial workers at The New Yorker became the first to announce a union drive at Condé Nast, followed by efforts at Ars Technica and Pitchfork one year later and Wired in 2020. The New Yorker, Pitchfork and Ars Technica unions ratified their first contracts in 2021 after an occasionally combative negotiations period, which culminated in a strike authorization vote. The Wired union is still negotiating its first contract.
“We could not be more thrilled to welcome over 500 Condé Nast members to our union, joining their unionized peers at The New Yorker, Ars Technica, Pitchfork and Wired,” NewsGuild of New York President Susan DeCarava said in a statement. “Conde Nast’s storied publications would be nowhere without the hard-working employees that put in the work day-in and day-out, and we are proud to say that they are now entirely union.”
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