After more than two years of talks, an evening protest outside Anna Wintour’s townhouse in Greenwich Village and the threat of a strike, a group of 120 union employees at The New Yorker has reached a deal with Condé Nast, the magazine’s parent company.
Union representatives for The New Yorker and two Condé Nast online publications, Ars Technica and Pitchfork, said on Wednesday that they had come to an agreement in principle with company leaders after pushing for higher wages and improved health benefits, among other demands.
“These landmark agreements, which will go before members for a ratification vote in the coming weeks, will inaugurate a new era of equity, transparency and accountability at The New Yorker, Pitchfork, Ars Technica and Condé Nast at large,” the unions for the three publications said in a statement.
The three publications are represented by the NewsGuild, which also represents employees at The New York Times and other media organizations.
The union had said that some workers at The New Yorker made as little as $42,000 annually and demanded a base salary of $60,000. The unions said the deal included base pay of $55,000 upon ratification, rising to $60,000 by April 2023.
Under the agreement, most employees at the three publications will receive wage increases of at least 10 percent, with pay raises of up to 63 percent for workers at The New Yorker, up to 58 percent for Pitchfork employees and up to 76 percent for those at Ars Technica, the unions said in a statement.
The agreement includes a cap on increases for health care costs and a defined 40-hour workweek.
The unions said the company had agreed that at least half of the candidates interviewed for job openings will come from underrepresented groups. Contracts will also include a “just cause” provision stating that managers must provide specific reasons before disciplining or firing employees.
Daily Business Briefing
“I am elated that we have such a strong contract for our members now and such a strong contract to build on in future negotiations,” Natalie Meade, a New Yorker fact checker and the unit chair of The New Yorker Union, said in an interview on Wednesday. She said she was proud that the union had been able to “break the curse of stagnant wages” at the publication.
A Condé Nast spokeswoman said the company was pleased to have reached an agreement, adding that the company’s “new executive leadership team has implemented equitable compensation and inclusive benefits standards across our work force. These standards are now reflected in our agreement with union employees.”
The New Yorker Union formed in 2018. It was the first union in the 97-year history of the magazine that has the monocled dandy Eustace Tilley as its mascot. The union is made up of fact checkers, copy editors and other editorial workers, but does not include the magazine’s staff writers.
The New Yorker, which won six prizes at the National Magazine Awards last week, including the honor for general excellence, voluntarily recognized the union early on, but negotiations with Condé Nast leaders, including David Remnick, the editor who has run The New Yorker since 1998, moved slowly.
The unions for the three publications voted to authorize a strike in March. Last week, The New Yorker Union unveiled a website including the statement that it was “on the verge of a strike.” On June 8, roughly 100 people protested outside the home of Ms. Wintour, the longtime editor of Vogue. She also is Condé Nast’s worldwide chief content officer, but she does not oversee The New Yorker.
Rachel Abrams contributed reporting.