White Collar Workers Strike: An Outburst in the New York Times, New School, HarperCollins and The New School
The striking workers are part of a larger wave of white-collar workers who are taking action in their workplace. The professors at New School are on strike. And on Thursday, workers at The New York Times staged a one-day strike.
The United Auto workers and their publisher released separate statements on Thursday night that announced increases to minimum salaries and a one time bonus for bargaining unit employees.
The starting salary formid- and entry-level staffers in departments such as book design and marketing rose from $45,000 to $50,000 as part of the request for increased efforts to enhance diversity. Employees went on a strike in November after not having a contract for some time.
As a result of the strike, the industry and others focused on the issue of low pay in book publishing, which has made it difficult for young employees to afford living in New York City.
Earlier this week, Macmillan announced it was raising starting salaries from $42,000 to $47,000. The other three major New York publishing houses — Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group USA and Simon & Schuster — offer starting salaries between $45,000 and $50,000.
A months-long impasse without negotiations led to criticism of HarperCollins by agents, authors and others in the book community who alleged the publisher was not trying reach a deal.
The News Corp-owned company agreed to talks with a federal mediation. Within a few hours,HarperCollins announced plans to lay off 5% of North American employees because of falling revenues and rising costs.