Conde Nast Employees Form Company-Wide Union Covering 500+ Workers


For Immediate Release: March 29, 2022


Conde Nast Employees Form Company-Wide Union Covering 500+ Workers

Union represents editorial, video, and production workers across all Condé Nast’s brands that haven’t already unionized, including Vogue, Bon Appétit, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, and GQ

Workers slam Condé Nast for low pay, lack of diversity and equity, heavy reliance on contract workers, and absence of clear standards for performance evaluation and career development


NEW YORK – In a major step forward for workers organizing in the media industry, employees of Condé Nast’s editorial brands and Conde Nast Entertainment announced today the formation of Condé Nast Union, demanding voluntary recognition from management. 

The bargaining unit includes full-and part-time editorial, video, and production workers at Allure, Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Glamour, GQ, Self, Teen Vogue, them., Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Condé Nast Entertainment. Once certified, it will be one of the largest units in recent NewsGuild history.

The announcement follows a wave of union organizing at a host of Condé Nast brands, beginning in 2018 with an organizing drive by editorial employees at The New Yorker. They announced their union publicly in June of 2018 with nearly 90% of the staff supporting the effort. In March 2019, they were joined by colleagues at Ars Technica and Pitchfork, and in April 2020 by those at WIRED. All four publications were voluntarily recognized by Condé Nast. 

The George Floyd protests of 2020 ignited a company-wide reckoning over race and equity, beginning with Bon Appétit, and sparked long-overdue conversations about the lack of equity in the workplace and the need for substantive changes, which were found to be widely felt across the brands. 

"The current workplace culture at Condé Nast allows many people of color and women to be consistently silenced by management. It's no longer enough to play-act a commitment to diversity, or apply bandaid solutions to issues of discrimination,” said Kaylee Hammonds, Epicurious. ”We're unionizing today across the company so that this hypocrisy that currently thrives at Condé Nast can be remedied." 

In addition to a strong commitment to staff diversity, workers in the union are calling for more job security, higher pay, clearer paths to job advancement, and more workplace transparency. They are also demanding a seat at the table to challenge corporate cost-cutting measures like layoffs, pay cuts, and department consolidations. 

"There is no viable ‘future’ of Condé Nast if women and people of color continue to be used to fill a diversity quota,” said Cortni Spearman, Glamour. “The only viable future at the company, and for this industry, is one where all workers have a strong stake in decisions that directly affect them. I'm proud to take this step towards that future today along with hundreds of my colleagues."

Workers lack job security and have very little say in the company’s structure and goals. Many live in fear of losing jobs to arbitrary layoffs or having full-time positions be outsourced to contract workers. Many have worked for years as subcontracted employees, without health insurance and other basic benefits, even though they do the same jobs as full-time staff. There is no clear system for tying compensation to performance, no codified method of performance evaluation, and few opportunities for career development. And crucially, the company continues to suffer from a lack of diversity and equity. 

“Condé constantly promises more transparency around pay and career development, but despite lackluster pay-equity studies that are largely kept private, people can still make less than a living wage and may never see a raise or promotion in their tenure here,” says Elise Portale, Architectural Digest. “Every day, they throw more responsibilities and tasks our way, but when the conversation turns to compensation or growth, management consistently finds ways to move the goalposts. We have no say in what we do, where we work, and what we get paid, and no recourse to change it. But that will no longer be the case.”

The workers delivered a petition to management this morning, and have requested voluntary recognition of the New York Guild as their collective bargaining representative. Earlier this month, the New York Guild-represented Times Tech Guild, covering 600 New York Times tech workers, won a National Labor Relations Board election for a union in a blowout vote, becoming the largest union in the United States of tech workers with bargaining rights. 

“Workers at Condé Nast have organized hundreds of their colleagues with one shared goal: to raise standards and fight for better working terms and conditions. This is an opportunity for Condé Nast management to work more collaboratively with employees and be held accountable in addressing long-standing concerns about equity, inclusion, fairness and diversity,” says Susan DeCarava, President, The NewsGuild of New York. “I’m excited to welcome these workers into the Guild and proud to join them in their fight to improve their workplace.  


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