Media unions strike an agreement with Condé Nast


Malbonster | flickr

Rachel Dalloo

After nearly three years of negotiations and media activism, The New Yorker and two other publications have reached an agreement that would push for better wages and employee benefits with Condé Nast.

“After more than two and a half years of negotiations between The NewsGuild of New York and Condé Nast, The New Yorker, Pitchfork and Ars Technica Unions are proud to announce that we have averted a strike and reached an agreement in principle on our first contracts,” unions said in a joint statement.

“These landmark agreements, which will go before members for a ratification vote in the coming weeks, will inaugurate a new era of equity, transparency, and accountability at The New Yorker, Pitchfork, Ars Technica, and Condé Nast at large.”

The deal was reached amid the organization of labor throughout various media companies all around the country, many of which have been attempting to organize for many years.

Tensions regarding The New Yorker’s union negotiations had risen after employees who were unionized had voted to authorize a strike back in March, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The agreement that was settled for unionized members at the media companies range from protections dealing with increased pay, sick leave, freelancing and editorial integrity to compensation structures, health-care benefits/cost, work-life balance and job security, among other gains.

Fair payment, which was one of the primary issues, has been guaranteed. Unionized employees at all three of the publications will be guaranteed a base salary of “at least $55,000 per year that will increase to $60,000 in 2023.” Additionally, many of the workers will also receive a 10% pay increase.

The company noted that there are some union members who earn as little as $42,000 a year, while many of the long-serving employees, who have worked for the company for more than twenty years, make less than $60,000 a year, according to The New Yorker’s union page.

“Throughout two and half years of negotiations, our union remained steadfast in our commitment to improve the quality of life for ourselves and for future employees,” Natalie Meade, the unit chair of the New Yorker Union, said.

“Thanks to our members’ hard work, the era of at-will employment and wage stagnation at The New Yorker is finally over. To reach agreements in principle on the very first collective bargaining agreements at Condé Nast is a historic occasion, and we’re proud to have blazed the trail, setting a standard for compensation and establishing a framework of accountability that will benefit The New Yorker and Condé Nast employees for years to come.”

A Condé Nast is “still in negotiations” with the union that’s representing workers at Wired, according to The Hill.

This year alone, many news organizations have seen an increase in the unionizing of employees. For example, the NewsGuild is currently working with employees at The New York TimesForbes, The Atlantic, Insider and Southern California News Group, according to CNN Business.

Due to many employees at various news organizations forming union groups, an environment for staffers to feel better supported has been created. Making it easier for companies to be outspoken regarding the rights they deserve as media employees.

A spokesperson for Condé Nast noted that the “new executive leadership team has implemented equitable compensation and inclusive benefits standards across our workforce,” according to The New York Times.

“These gains are the direct result of collective action—including a credible strike threat— proving that when we stand together and fight, we win. With these agreements, we have laid a foundation that will raise standards at Condé Nast and throughout our industry,” The NewsGuild said in a statement.