As unionized employees at HarperCollins Publishers prepare to mark their 50th day on strike next week, union representatives announced that a rally is planned outside the publisher's parent company, News Corp, in Manhattan at 12:30 p.m. on January 18. Since November 10 of last year, labor negotiations between the union and company executives have been stalled, and union representatives are hoping to put pressure on the publisher to return to the bargaining table.
Local 2110 of the UAW represents more than 250 HarperCollins employees in editorial, sales, publicity, design, legal, and marketing departments. Union representatives said negotiations have stalled over higher pay, a greater commitment to diversifying staff, and stronger union protection. Negotiations started in December 2021 and unionized employees have been working without a contract since April 2022.
“The rally we held on December 16 saw amazing turnout from our members and supporters across the city,” said Genessee Floressantos, an associate publicist in international sales. “It was a huge boost for us to see such a big crowd despite the rainy and windy weather that day. This once again showed that our demands are very reasonable and worth fighting for, and that the whole industry stands with us in this fight.”
Last December, strikers finished the year with a rally co-hosted by HarperCollins bestselling authors Rebecca F. Kuang and Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. Other speakers included New York City Council Member Chris Marte, NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, and NYS Senator Brad Hoylman.
On December 30, members of New York State Senate, Brad Hoylman, Cordell Cleare, Anna Kaplan, Liz Krueger, Julia Salazar, Shelley Mayer, Pete Harckham, Michelle Hinchey, Gustavo Rivera, Jessica Ramos, and Andrew Gounardes, sent a letter of support of the strikers to HarperCollins president & CEO Brian Murray.
HarperCollins employees have had a union for more than 80 years and it is one of the earliest unions of “white collar” workers in the country. It is part of Technical, Office and Professional Union UAW Local 2110. Contract negotiations with HarperCollins management began in December 2021 when a one-year pandemic extension of the contract was set to expire. Currently, HarperCollins is the only major book publisher in the U.S. to be unionized, though some smaller book publishers also have unions.