These famous authors are expressing solidarity with the striking HarperCollins workers.

Dan Sheehan

November 10, 2022, 2:23pm

As you may have seen on Book Twitter today, the unionized workers of HarperCollins are striking to secure a fair contract, livable wages, and a more equitable publishing industry.

Some 250 employees—across the editorial, publicity, sales, marketing, legal and design departments—agreed to go on an indefinite strike after negotiations with the company stalled.

As reported by the New York Times early today:

Olga Brudastova, the president of Local 2110 of the U.A.W., which represents unionized HarperCollins employees, said that the union had decided to go on an indefinite strike after negotiations with the company stalled. The union is proposing that HarperCollins raise the minimum starting salary to $50,000, from $45,000. It has also demanded that the company address the lack of diversity in its work force.

Publishing has long been an underpaid, predominantly white industry, based in a city where the cost of living is prohibitive for many. HarperCollins made upwards of $2 billion in profit last year, and is owned by NewsCorp, whose ghoulish nonagenarian overlord Rupert Murdoch is worth somewhere in the region of $17 billion. So there’s that.

The 250 striking workers represent only a small percentage of HarperCollins’s 4000-person global work force, so this is very much a David Vs. Goliath struggle, but the underdogs do have the support of a large number of prominent authors (as well as, it must be noted, an even larger number of agents, editors, and other industry professionals).

Here’s just a small sampling of that high-profile solidarity.

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