BREAKING: The NewsGuild of New York files unfair labor practice charge against Condé Nast over attempts to intimidate union members

“This is a very troubling pattern of behavior by Conde Nast management,” said Susan DeCarava, president of The NewsGuild of New York.


NEW YORK – In at least three instances in the past month, unionized employees at Condé Nast, who were exercising their federally-protected right to take collective action to demand answers about pending layoffs, were met with security guards.

The most recent incident was after Thursday’s all-staff meeting at The New Yorker, where management announced layoffs. Several dozen members of The New Yorker Union, seeking transparency about who the company is targeting, went to the executive suite to demand answers. They were met with security guards who stood watch while workers asked Executive VP Cameron Bruce for more information about the layoffs.

On Monday, The NewsGuild of New York filed an unfair labor practice charge on behalf of The New Yorker Union against the media publisher over management’s attempts to intimidate and surveil union members as they participated in protected concerted activity.

“All we wanted was answers,” said Hannah Aizenman, the associate poetry editor of The New Yorker and unit chair of The New Yorker Union. “We should not have to march on the boss to get specifics and transparency about our co-workers losing their jobs but we aren’t afraid to do it, even if there’s security.”

Similarly, company security was called up to surveil workers on Nov. 8 when the Condé Nast Union – which represents workers powering brands such as Allure, Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Glamour, GQ, Self, Teen Vogue, them., Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Condé Nast Entertainment – marched to the executive offices and delivered a petition signed by over 350 people demanding a say in the company’s announced restructuring.

Security guards interrogated unionized staff from Bon Appétit and Epicurious who gathered in the Test Kitchen for a protest lunch on Nov. 15.

In a story published by the Hollywood Reporter on Nov. 2, Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch said the company met expectations for overall revenue growth for the third straight year and said there has been a rapid expansion in e-commerce and digital subscription starts, which have more than doubled since last year.

Yet Lynch and other company executives refuse to hold a town hall or Q&A with workers across brands to explain why these layoffs are necessary. Workers have stood together and demanded answers, only to be met with security guards.

“This is a very troubling pattern of behavior by Condé Nast management,” said Susan DeCarva, president of the NewsGuild of New York. “Condé Nast has flatly refused to be transparent with the full union membership about why these layoffs are necessary. Our members have a right to demand answers from company leadership without being illegally surveilled and having security called on them. Management’s response speaks volumes about how they view the workers who have contributed to the company’s successful expansion.”

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