Friday, May 24, 2024

Condé Nast Union Overwhelmingly Ratifies First Contract

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After over a year and a half of negotiations, Condé Nast and a union representing hundreds of its workers officially have a first labor contract.

In a ratification vote that took place on Tuesday, 97 percent of Condé Union members voted “yes” on a three-year deal announced by negotiators on May 6. The agreement, which averted a threatened strike from workers at the May 6 Met Gala, boosts wages by $3.6 million in total and converts company permalancers into full-time staff members, according to the union.

Some 550 Condé Nast workers at publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ, Bon AppétitAllure, Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Glamour, Teen Vogue, Self and Condé Nast Entertainment belong to the Condé Union and are covered under the contract. (Staffers at The New Yorker and Wired belong to different unions.)

In addition to the wage gains and permalancer changes, the new contract provides two additional weeks of paid parental leave to union members, institutes “just cause” when management fires or disciplines a worker, ensures “comp time” when union members work over 40 hours in one week, includes both biological and chosen family in the bargaining unit’s bereavement policy and includes some hybrid work protections.

The union and the company also agreed to the terms of a major round of layoffs that the company announced in November 2023. Employees whose roles have been terminated will receive eight weeks of severance, three months of COBRA coverage or a single payment equivalent to three months of COBRA, payouts of unused paid time off and a single lump sum payment of $2,111. Condé Nast also agreed to a layoff moratorium on union members until July 31, 2024.

The road to the deal was at times extremely rocky. After CEO Roger Lynch announced that the company would lay off five percent of its workforce on Nov. 1 and negotiations over those cuts got testy, the union launched a 24-hour strike on Jan. 23 that coincided with nominations for the 96th Academy Awards, typically a busy day for some Condé Nast publications. Union members marched to executives’ offices, handed out pamphlets in front of global chief content officer Anna Wintour’s residence and threatened to strike the Met Gala before the tentative deal was reached last minute.

“Our pledge to take any action necessary to get our contract, including walking off the job ahead of the Met Gala, is what got us this contract, along with the tireless work of our bargaining team,” Bon Appétit culinary producer Mallary Santucci, who is also the interim vp of the Condé Nast Entertainment bargaining unit, said in a statement. “Beginning today, the contract’s protections will have a profound impact on the lives of all of our members.”

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Condé Nast for comment.

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