April 15, 2024

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Union members protest alleged additional cuts

Union members protest alleged additional cuts

The already fragile relationship between Condé Nast and the union that represents more than 400 of its employees Vanity gallery, Vogue magazine And GQamong other posts, seems to be hanging by a thread.

On Wednesday afternoon, about 35 members of Conde's union marched to executives' offices to protest additional layoffs they say were threatened during labor negotiations on Tuesday. During Tuesday's bargaining session for the first contract, the company said it intends to add five more employees to the list of pre-existing employees that will be reduced, and warned that the company could add more, according to the Conde Union, which also represents workers at Conde. nast entertainment, in good health, Allure, Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Teen Vogue, Glamour And Self. (some The New Yorker Employees bargain in a separate union.)

Condé Union also alleges that the company did not offer any counterproposals to the union's demands from the previous week — on telecommuting and paid leave, for example — during Tuesday's Zoom meeting, which management apparently ended abruptly.

Meanwhile, Condé Nast on Tuesday filed an unfair labor practice charge against Condé Nast's union's umbrella labor organization, the NewsGuild of New York, for “bad faith and superficial bargaining,” according to a company memo distributed to employees who belong to the union. Condé. . The company's reasons include that within four months of bargaining ” [the union] “We have not yet taken our workforce reduction proposal seriously,” as we submitted only one layoff proposal in December that called for at least seven months of severance and COBRA for affected employees and requested only 28 reductions, instead of the 94 proposed in the origin.

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“We have also informed the union that we will begin proposing cost-saving measures to offset the cost of continuing payroll carrying costs not included in our 2024 budget,” the memo said. “Despite our best efforts to avoid this, the union's delay leaves us with no choice but to make cost savings. Today we told the union that we will be adding additional roles to the proposed reduction list.

In a statement, Susan DeCarava, president of the NewsGuild of New York, called the charge “a blatant attempt to force us to accept their charges.” [management’s] Layoff plans.” She added: “As we did throughout the negotiations, we are ready to bargain when the administration wants to stop the theatrical performances and bargain in good faith.”

The new layoffs were proposed about two weeks after Axios mentioned Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch said the company had “no plans for any further cuts,” which angered the union and its members. Lynch first announced that the company intended to lay off five percent of its workforce on November 1, and Condé's union has been bargaining over those cuts ever since. Before Tuesday, the company informed the union that it was monitoring 94 union members, or 20 percent of Condé's union. “What happened on Tuesday was a blatant display of the administration’s manipulation of people’s livelihoods.” Vanity gallery Social media manager Mark Alan Berger said in a statement. “It is simply unacceptable and we are showing that today.”

according to Vanity gallery Writer and store host Erin Vanderhoff, who attended Wednesday's protest, neither Lynch nor chief content officer and global editorial director Anna Wintour were present in the offices during the protest. Management gathered in a room as the staff demonstrated. “I can't tell you where these five jobs came from or even if it was just five because that wasn't clear, but I can tell you that some of the people already on the list are playing a very instrumental role in helping Condé Nast weather the storm,” she said. The entire digital media decade.”

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Those employees on the layoff list were told they would be reassigned to a group separate from their former brands called the “Central Content Unit,” according to a person familiar with the matter. While the exact work the CCU will be doing is not yet known — employees are supposed to receive their assignments on Monday, March 25 — the group will report to Chris Depresso, vice president of content finance and operations.

Condé Union and management negotiated their first union contract since September 2022. The relationship between these two parties has been contentious since the layoffs were announced on November 1, with the NewsGuild of New York (Condé Union's parent union) filing preliminary unfair labor practice charges against company in January, and employees went on strike on January 23, the day nominations for the 96th Academy Awards were announced, a big news day for titles like Vanity gallery. The NLRB has not yet issued a ruling on the NewsGuild's unfair labor practice charge.

The two parties are scheduled to return to negotiations on Thursday.

Additional reporting by Lachlan Cartwright.