On Thursday, more than 100 employees represented by the New Yorker Union, including fact-checkers, web producers, and some other editorial employees halted work for 24 hours. They announced that its members would not participate in the production or promotion of material for either the print magazine or the website.
The union said the strike was to “fair wages, a transparent, equitable salary structure, and to protest management’s unacceptable response to their wage proposal and their ongoing failure to bargain in good faith”.
“If management continues to reject basic concepts like competitive salary minimums and guaranteed annual increases, and refuses to swiftly bargain toward a contract that reflects the value of our members’ work, we will take further action,” they claimed.
The union stated that in November 2020 —after two years of negotiations over many other important contract provisions—they had presented the New Yorker and Condé Nast, the magazine, with a wage proposal designed to remedy decades of underpayment and disparities across roles and departments. It included a salary floor of $65,000, which would allow entry-level employees to support themselves in New York City, and a system of graduated annual increases, which would help compensation keep pace with rising cost of living and prevent wage stagnation.
On January 12, the management's response to their pleas was “egregious” and showed “disrespect” for the union and for the work they do, the union noted. “It included a salary floor of $45,000—only $3,000 more than the lowest current full-time salaries—and an entirely discretionary merit-based increase system that would not guarantee any annual salary adjustments,” they said, adding that the management also proposed retaining the right to decrease any union member’s salary by up to 20 percent at any time.
They declared that the work stoppage is meant to remind them of the value of their labour. “We urge them to meet us at the table next week ready to bargain in good faith over wages and other outstanding items and to make efficient progress toward the contract our members deserve,” they said.