According to the union, an “overwhelming majority” of eligible staff of both Pitchfork and Ars Technica signed union-authorization cards and have requested voluntary recognition of their respective unions.
The two pubs join another Condé Nast title, the New Yorker, whose edit staffers are members of the NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America. In all, the union reps nearly 3,000 employees at New York-area news organizations, including the New York Times, Thomson Reuters, the Nation, the Daily Beast, Mashable, PC Magazine, and BuzzFeed News (whose employees joined the NewsGuild in February).
In joining NewsGuild of New York, the editorial employees at both publications are seeking to address issues including job security, layoff procedures, fair annual cost of living raises, and measures to improve diversity and inclusion.
In addition, Pitchfork staffers are also seeking to address the subcontracted status of many of their colleagues who are paid by a third-party staffing agency, Global Employment Solutions. Ars Technica, meanwhile, has a staff that is entirely remote, making it the first digital-media entity to unionize a staff that does not have a central, physical workplace, according to NewsGuild.
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“We believe that forming a union will keep this a sustainable place for all of us,” Pitchfork senior editor Stacey Anderson said in a statement. “We’re ready for management to address our concerns and work as hard for us as we do for them.”
Added Nathan Mattise, features editor at Ars Technica, “Through our union, we’re excited to work with management to ensure we’re building an environment to do this kind of work for the long haul.”
Natalie Meade, the NewsGuild unit chair of the New Yorker, said, “We stand together in the fight for sustainable working conditions, job security, and respect as part of the NewsGuild/Condé Nast union family.”
Asked for comment, a Condé Nast spokesman said in a statement Friday to Variety, “We have received the NewsGuild’s demands for recognition at both Ars Technica and Pitchfork, and look forward to responding as soon as we evaluate each.”