The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and Ars Technica Unions Overwhelmingly Approve Strike Authorization, Will Host In-Person Rally on 3/27 at 11:00 a.m. ET


For Immediate Release: March 26, 2021
Contact: Josh Austin, | (484) 269-0158

The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and Ars Technica Unions Overwhelmingly Approve Strike Authorization, Will Host In-Person Rally on 3/27 at 11:00 a.m. ET

New York, NY—Guild members at The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and Ars Technica announced today that they have overwhelmingly approved—with 98% support—a strike in each of their respective units should contract talks break down further with the brands and their parent company, Condé Nast. This historic authorization vote, with more than 93% of Guild-represented workers at Condé participating, comes after years of slow and contentious negotiations for first contracts at each of the publications. The workers at The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and Ars Technica are unwavering in their commitment to bringing transparency, equity, and accountability to their workplaces and to Condé Nast at large.

Tomorrow (March 27) at 11:00 a.m. ET at One World Trade Center, on Vesey Street between Church Street and West Broadway, the NewsGuild of New York will rally for fair contracts at Condé. Masks are required, and taking a rapid test is strongly recommended. The Guild will have additional masks, sanitizer, and gloves on hand. More information on the rally can be found here

Contract talks at all three publications have centered on a core set of demands meant to correct long-standing workplace inequities: 

  1. Fair pay that reflects the value of the work Guild members produce and keeps pace with the increasing cost of living
  2. A safe and inclusive work environment
  3. Ending practices that exploit workers and undermine their work-life balance 

At each bargaining table, Condé has maintained a bad-faith bargaining strategy of delay, intransigence, and unresponsiveness. Management has arrived at bargaining sessions unprepared, and has stalled for months in responding to our proposals and requests for information. They have made commitments to new policies in public, only to turn around and refuse to make those same commitments in our contracts. And they have repeatedly presented language that would let management retain unilateral control over our members’ workplace conditions. This week’s strike authorization votes make clear that the workers who produce The New Yorker, Ars Technica, and Pitchfork understand Conde’s actions as evasive strategies designed to undermine their efforts to make real, meaningful change. 

We call on Condé to do better: Come to the table ready to bargain in good faith with a  commitment to finish these contracts collaboratively—and quickly. 

The New Yorker, Pitchfork and Ars Technica Unions have issued the following joint statement: 

The members of the New Yorker Union, Pitchfork Union, and Ars Technica Union have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike, with 98% support across our three bargaining units. If and when our bargaining committees call for it, we will walk off the job to demand the contracts we deserve.

Condé Nast has long profited off the exploitation of its workers, but that exploitation ends now. We demand fair and equitable pay—including wage minimums that are in line with industry standards, a humane salary floor for current and future positions, and regular annual increases that keep pace with the ever-rising cost of living. We demand clear paths for professional development, concrete commitments to diversity and inclusion, and a safe and respectful workplace free of harassment. We demand that the company respect our editorial integrity and our need for work-life balance. We demand a future at Condé Nast that works for all of us, not just those at the top. 

We are now in our third year of bargaining with Condé Nast, and the company has not negotiated in good faith. From Day One, management has delayed and undermined the bargaining process by refusing to respond to proposals and information requests for months at a time (or at all), and showing up to our sessions late and unprepared. When they do respond to our proposals, they almost always seek to maintain unilateral control and, at best, memorialize the status quo. In some cases, management’s proposals would make the terms and conditions of our employment even worse; currently, they are proposing annual wage increases so small that salaries would not even keep up with the rate of inflation. 

As we have said many times at the bargaining table, if the status quo were working, we would not have unionized in the first place. Many of our members have already been egregiously underpaid and exploited for years—some for decades. We have lost far too many talented colleagues to competitors because of management’s failure to support and value their employees. We will not contribute to the lowering of standards in the media industry, and we are disappointed that our managers are so committed to this race to the bottom. We deserve better.

This strike-authorization vote is meant to remind Condé Nast of the value of our labor, and to demonstrate our members’ solidarity in fighting for a fair contract. We take pride in what we do, and many of us have often accepted subpar wages and conditions in order to be a part of publications we care deeply about. But this reality is not just or sustainable. It is time for Condé Nast to show that it understands how seriously we take this fight, and to begin working with—rather than against—us to reach agreement on fair contracts that will build a stronger, more sustainable future for this company and the people who make it run. 

“Our members at Condé Nast continue to prove that they will do whatever it takes to secure a strong first contract, even when management refuses to bargain in good faith,” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “Management’s tactics have revealed a disconnected leadership that refuses to listen to the needs of its workers, to the detriment of their iconic publications and their readers. With the full support of the Guild behind them in their fight, we stand with our members at Condé Nast in demanding their fair share.” 

Follow: @nyguild | @newyorkerunion | @p4kunion | @ars_union
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The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 4,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, TIME, PEOPLE, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. The NewsGuild of New York advocates for journalists to have a voice in the newsroom, for press freedom, for inclusive and diverse workplaces, and for just cause, no exceptions, for all media professionals.

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