The HarperCollins Publishers union announced late Thursday that its work stoppage that began in November has successfully pressured the company into reaching a tentative agreement including pay raises.
The tentative deal reportedly includes one-time $1,500 bonuses for all union members and increased minimum starting salaries, which are currently $45,000 per year.
The union went on strike on November 10, pledging to continue the walkout for "as long as it takes" to secure a contract with fair pay and benefits. The roughly 250 workers represented by the Association of HarperCollins Employees—which is affiliated with Local 2110 of the United Auto Workers union—worked without a contract for seven months last year before negotiations fell apart.
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's living wage calculator, New York residents need to earn a minimum of $53,000 in order to pay for living expenses in the city. The union had demanded that minimum starting salaries be raised to $50,000.
"We all hope for a quick resolution, but it wholly depends on what the company is willing to put on the table."
The HarperCollins union—the only collective bargaining unit at a major U.S. book publisher—had also called for better paid family leave benefits and greater efforts by management to diversify the company's workforce.
The union includes employees in the publisher's editorial, publicity, sales, marketing, legal, and design departments.
Author and NPR podcast host Linda Holmes noted that if the union members vote to ratify the agreement, the strike "will have helped publishing in general and not just this team."
Numerous HarperCollins authors have demonstrated solidarity with the workers since they walked out on November 10, with many saying they would withhold submissions to the publisher until a fair contract was agreed upon.
On social media, the union emphasized on Thursday that "the strike isn't over yet" as representatives enter mediation with the company.
"We all hope for a quick resolution, but it wholly depends on what the company is willing to put on the table," said the union. "We in the union aren't willing to throw away months of sacrifice on the line for an unfair contract—we're in it for as long as it takes."
If the deal is approved by members, the contract will remain in place through 2025.