It appears that both HarperCollins union members company and management are gearing up for the possibility of a prolonged walkout. The union has postponed a strike that was planned for today until Thursday, November 10. In October, HC union members overwhelmingly authorized a second strike following a one-day walkout in July. In supporting a new strike, the union said the second strike would be “open-ended,” suggesting that the walkout would be more than a one-day action.
In a companywide memo from HC to employees, the company acknowledged that while it has agreed to a number of proposals made by the United Auto Workers Union, which is representing about 250 HC workers, it has not been able to reach an agreement on a new deal. HC said that “while our goal remains to reach agreement on a fair contract with the United Auto Workers Union that is beneficial to both parties,” it “has implemented plans to ensure that operations continue uninterrupted during a potential strike.”
Negotiations between the union and management began in December 2021 and unionized employees have been working without a contract since April 2022. Six union members were among those laid off last month when HC cut an unspecified number of jobs in a move to cut costs. Prior to the job cuts, the union filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board in response to its failed bargaining with HC.