Condé Nast Union Addresses the Unfair Treatment of Full-Time Freelancers
A million girls want to be paid for this job.
Working your way up the masthead of a magazine may be a goal of few in today’s media landscape. Against the backdrop of Condé Nast — the publisher of glossies like Vogue, GQ, and Vanity Fair —having turned a profit for the first time in years, the company's employees are pushing on management to have their contributions to the business's bottom line be accurately reflected in worker compensation and job security.
One of the pressing issues recently publicized by the Condé Union is the role of permalance workers in Condé Nast’s operations. Permalance — a portmanteau joining "permanent" and "freelance — is a designation of worker who performs the same tasks as a permanent staffer, full-time, but with unequal treatment. According to the Condé Union, the list of unequal treatment includes unpaid holidays, arbitrary contract renewals, and denied PTO [personal time off].
"It comes down to prestige doesn't pay the bills," said Jaime Archer, a web producer at Vanity Fair. "We love working here, and we want to keep working here. If Condé wants to attract the best talent in the business, they have to stop relying on prestige and provide equitable pay and benefits."
Since issuing a letter to management in March that was signed by over 350 employees, Condé Nast still has not voluntarily recognized the Condé Union, which would organize under the NewsGuild of New York. “To drag this process out is only going to do more harm to the relationship between workers and management at Condé,” explained Nastaran Mohit, organizing director of the NewsGuild of New York. “The sooner they voluntarily recognize, the sooner we can get to the bargaining table and negotiate a contract.”