The New Yorker Union Went on Daylong Strike Over Pay Dispute

“We are withholding our labor to demand fair wages and a transparent, equitable salary structure,” the Union said.
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A copy of The New Yorker. Credit: AbeBooks.

A copy of The New Yorker. Credit: AbeBooks.

Members of The New Yorker Union, a group representing employees of the magazine, stopped working for 24 hours after unsuccessful negotiations with the company’s management regarding their pay. The walkout lasted from 6 A.M. on Thursday, 21 January, to Friday, 22 January.

“We are withholding our labor to demand fair wages and a transparent, equitable salary structure, and to protest management’s unacceptable response to our wage proposal and their ongoing failure to bargain in good faith,” the Union said in a statement announcing its decision.

Last November, the Union asked for a minimum salary of $65,000, which would enable entry-level employees to sustain the cost of living in New York City, a proposal it deemed “aspirational but not unrealistic.” In response, the company offered a $45,000 minimum salary, a discretionary merit-based increase system that would not guarantee annual salary adjustments, and further proposed keeping the right to decrease a union member’s salary by as much as 20% at any time.

“The company’s proposal showed disrespect for us and for the work we do,” the statement said. “Today’s work stoppage is meant to remind The New Yorker and Conde Nast of the value of our labor, and to demonstrate our members’ solidarity in fighting for a fair contract–which includes fair pay. We are committed to The New Yorker, which is why many of us have worked here years—even decades—despite low and stagnant wages. However much we may love our jobs, that love is not enough to live on.”

The New Yorker Union is part of the NewsGuild of New York, representing more than a hundred employees, including fact checkers, web producers, and other editorial employees.

Paula Willie-Okafor
Paula Willie-Okafor is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. She is a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she is custodian of The Writers' Community (TWC). Her writing has appeared in Kissing Dynamite Magazine and Praxis Magazine.

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