Jan 23, 2024 - Business

Condé Nast union workers walk out following layoff announcement

Illustration of Condé Nast magazines with Ben Franklin on the cover

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Roughly 400 members of the unionized staff at several Condé Nast brands, including Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair, are walking off the job Tuesday in New York City, the NewsGuild of New York said.

Why it matters: The strike comes months after Condé Nast said it would lay off approximately 5% of its staff, or roughly 300 people.

  • The company also announced last week that its music outlet Pitchfork is being folded into GQ.

Details: The union will picket outside One World Trade Center by the company's offices in New York at 10 am ET, with a planned rally from 1 to 2 pm ET, the union said.

  • The picket line "will feature an Oscars-nomination-style treatment with a red carpet, 'step and repeat' and more" to serve as a reminder of the value of journalists' work covering Hollywood, the union said. (Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday morning.)

Be smart: The union said Monday that workers are protesting management's "unlawful bargaining tactics during layoff negotiations."

  • The union, which also represents workers at other Condé Nast publications, such as Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit and Glamour, has been bargaining its first contract since certification in September 2022.
  • Following the layoff announcement in November, the NewsGuild of New York filed an unfair labor practice charge against Condé Nast with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing the company violated labor laws when it countered a severance proposal with half of the initially offered payout.
  • The NewsGuild said Monday that "any changes to working conditions, including layoffs, must be negotiated."

The big picture: Strikes and work stoppages have become a bigger part of union negotiation tactics in recent years, as newsrooms face seemingly never-ending layoffs and cost-cutting.

Go deeper