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April 7, 2022

The Best Recipe for Change: Hundreds of Condé Nast Employees Organize, Seek Union Recognition

Over 350 employees of Condé Nast have notified the publishing giant that they wish to be represented by the NewsGuild of New York. In a letter to the company at the end of March, the employees requested voluntary recognition of a bargaining unit that would encompass around 500 employees working in a variety of positions, including editorial, video, and production staff, across 11 of Condé Nast’s publications, including titles such as Bon Appétit, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and GQ.
Home » News » The Best Recipe for Change: Hundreds of Condé Nast Employees Organize, Seek Union Recognition

Ryan Cowdin
Thu, 04/07/2022

Over 350 employees of Condé Nast have notified the publishing giant that they wish to be represented by the NewsGuild of New York. In a letter to the company at the end of March, the employees requested voluntary recognition of a bargaining unit that would encompass around 500 employees working in a variety of positions, including editorial, video, and production staff, across 11 of Condé Nast’s publications, including titles such as Bon Appétit, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and GQ.

The road to unionization at Condé Nast has been both long and public. For years, Condé Nast workers have struggled with the company’s low wages, lack of transparency on employee mobility, and unequal treatment of women and workers of color. Some of the more public scrutiny has led to high-profile firings, such as a major editor of Bon Appétit who had taken photographs of himself in a racially insensitive costume. But these gestures did not fix the root of the discontent amongst employees. In addition, Condé Nast laid off over 100 employees at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and is continuing to explore new ways to adapt to changes in the publishing industry—circumstances that cause greater uncertainty over employee job security.

Now, in their letter, the employees have made clear to the company they are organizing in search of better pay, increased job security, and a stronger commitment to diversity and equity. Condé Nast’s initial response was receptive, and it may choose to voluntarily recognize the union, which appears to have the support of at least 70 percent of workers. In the past, the company has voluntarily recognized smaller unions at specific publications. If it does not, however, then the union will have to hold a secret-ballot election and seek certification by the National Labor Relations Board.

For more information on how to form a union, contact MSE at info@mselaborlaw.com or (202) 833-8855.

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