HarperCollins union strike: What we know 

January has not been the greatest month for the book industry so far. HarperCollins Publishing (HC) employees have been on strike for more than 50 days now, starting in November.

HC is considered one of the “Big Five” publishing houses – along with Penguin Random House, Hachette Livre, Simon & Shuester and Macmillan. These publishing houses dominate the traditional publishing business. 

HC employees–around two hundred and fifty in total– have unionized  in order to push back against the low pay, lack of diversity, and grueling schedules. Union workers and authors that are supporting the union all want one thing from the big time publishing house: a fair contract. 

“HarperCollins has agreed to a number of proposals that the United Auto Workers Union is seeking to include in a new contract (the union is affiliated with the United Auto Workers Union Local 2110). We are disappointed an agreement has not been reached and will continue to negotiate in good faith,” a spokesperson for the publishing house released a statement. 

The strike has gained support from many authors under HC. Young Adult author Elise Bryant recently mentioned the strike while promoting her newest book, thanking union workers that helped her bring the book together. 

With rallies and protests, the union will not back down from this fight, even when it’s dead silence from their employers. 

More than 150 literary agents signed an open letter that supported the strikers and pledged not to submit new books until a resolution came to be:

“A successful HarperCollins, and a successful publishing industry, relies on our friends on the picket line, and so we stand in solidarity with them and ask that HarperCollins return to the bargaining table and grant them a fair contract. In the meantime, we will omit HarperCollins editors from our submission lists.” 

Through all of the backlash and push back, the people at HC have been silent. People are demanding change and that their voices are heard. Still, the union continues to press forward with their goal for better treatment from the taxing enterprise taking advantage of their passion for the industry. 

 As of Last Wednesday, Jan. 25, HC announced they have come to an agreement to undergo negotiations with its employee unions with the help of an independent mediator. After this statement from HC, the union released their own:

“We are hopeful the company will use this opportunity to settle fairly and reset our relationship. This means our pressure campaign is working. The strike will continue until we reach a fair contract agreement. Please continue to hold the line.” 

The union and HC both appear to be hopeful that an agreement will be made and put into action so employees can get back to work in the renowned publishing house. It’s clear that the union won’t stop until the goal of a fair contract is achieved. 

Employees deserve livable wages and equal treatment. They deserve credit, respect, equality, and so much more for what they do for the publishing industry.