Pitchfork Union Statement on Today's Work Stoppage
Today, the Pitchfork Union is engaging in a half-day work stoppage. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST, union members will not publish or promote any new content on the website in protest of a blatant act of union-busting by Condé Nast and Pitchfork management.
On May 13, Condé Nast engaged in company-wide layoffs. The only person in our union targeted was our Unit Chair and only Senior Editor of color, Stacey Anderson, illustrating the larger pattern of employees of color being targeted throughout the company. We categorically opposed her layoff. We immediately began looking into alternatives, like those implemented at BuzzFeed News and The Los Angeles Times. We presented a plan to Condé Nast and Pitchfork management (Editor-in-Chief Puja Patel and Managing Editor Amy Phillips) as a way to keep jobs intact while achieving their target savings for this year—within 3 months! We also made staff schedules to avoid any workflow disruption. We've yet to receive a response.
This is the same management team that has stonewalled us at the bargaining table. We are negotiating hard for diversity and inclusion contract language that ensures 50 percent of those interviewed for jobs at Pitchfork come from underrepresented backgrounds. Condé Nast and Pitchfork counsel rejected our proposal because “for certain positions it’s hard to find qualified applicants from underrepresented backgrounds” and “not every job is created equal.” We condemn these racist statements.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Condé Nast has been broken for a long time. This includes Pitchfork. Stacey’s removal would be the second layoff of a Senior Editor of color in under 18 months. We need to change the culture of Pitchfork and hold management accountable for their decisions. We also need to acknowledge our own complicity in these systemic failures so we, as coworkers, can improve.
We demand Condé Nast reverse their decision to target our Unit Chair and agree to our counter-proposal to achieve both parties’ goals and re-center our attention on other issues—like making sure Pitchfork and other Condé Nast brands uproot all their pre-existing racist power structures.
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