In 11th Hour, a Deal Between Conde Nast, Union

Staffers had planned to protest at the Met Gala if a labor agreement wasn't reached
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2024 1:37 PM CDT
Met Gala May Be Safe After All From Striking Conde Nasters
Anna Wintour attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit on May 6, 2019, in New York.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Anna Wintour could've had quite a scene on her hands Monday evening as she hosts the Met Gala at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, where staffers from Conde Nast—where Wintour serves as editorial director and global chief content officer—had planned to show up at the event in protest over failed negotiations on their first labor contract. As of late Monday morning, it appears that crisis looks to have been averted, with an announcement by Conde Nast's union that it had struck a tentative deal with the media company's leadership, reports CBS News.

"When we fight, we win," the union posted on X on Monday morning, citing such victories as a $61,500 starting salary floor; two additional weeks of family leave (meaning 14 weeks total); expanded bereavement leave; and better terms for freelancers. Meanwhile, staffers who are laid off will see at least eight weeks' severance and three months of coverage under COBRA, or a lump-sum payment to handle health care costs. Among the publications under the Conde Nast umbrella are Wintour's baby, Vogue, as well as GQ, Vanity Fair, and Architectural Digest, among many others.

CBS notes that "workers in audience development, commerce, and video" are also included in the contract negotiations. The New York Times reports the union fired a warning shot over the weekend regarding the Met Gala, posting on X, "We're doing whatever it takes: Meet us at the table or meet us at The Met on Monday." About 540 workers will be covered by the deal. "We are happy to have a contract that reflects and supports our core values—our content and journalism; our commitment to diversity and professional development; our industry-leading hiring practices and our competitive wages and benefits," Conde Nast Chief People Officer Stan Duncan says in a statement about the contract, which still needs to be ratified by union members, per CBS. (More Conde Nast stories.)

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