HarperCollins Union Strikes and Demonstrates at HC HQ

(via @hcpunion)

In a one-day strike approved by more than 99% of members, some 100 HarperCollins union employees and supporters demonstrated outside the publisher's lower Manhattan headquarters yesterday, calling for the company to improve pay and family leave policies, take stronger action regarding diversity and equity and improve union protection. It's also calling for the company to include more employees who joined HarperCollins when it bought Houghton Mifflin Harcourt last year and to recognize the seniority of those already in the bargaining unit. The union has been working without a contract since the end of last year.

Founded in 1942, the HarperCollins union is affiliated with the technical, office and professional local 2110 of the UAW, has about 250 members in editorial, sales, publicity, design, legal and marketing, and is the only union at a major U.S. publisher. Its members are primarily women and have average salaries, the union said, of $55,000 annually, with starting salaries of $45,000.

The union argues that many members are pressured to work extra hours without compensation, that the salaries are inadequate in expensive cities like New York and Boston, and that HarperCollins owner News Corp. has had "record-setting profits in the past two years" and isn't recognizing the vital contributions of its unionized workers.

HarperCollins has consistently declined to comment on the contract negotiations.

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