The New Yorker Union and the magazine’s owner Condé Nast reached an agreement over a “just cause” clause in the union’s contract following 35 hours of negotiation.
Unionized staffers at The New Yorker have been negotiating for more than a year for a “just cause” measure to be added into their contracts, which means standards must be met prior to a termination. The union claimed that it’s a basic labor standard found in many contracts that guarantees due process, promotes fairness and accountability.
The union had planned to hold a digital picket line at the publication’s virtual festival Monday evening, which was scrapped after the two sides came to agreement. The union also wrote to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren last week, resulting in the two cancelling their respective appearances at The New Yorker Festival. At the time, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted “Love the @NewYorker, but @ewarren and I don’t cross picket lines.” Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also pulled out.
These efforts led to a number of subscribers taking to social media to state that they wouldn’t renew their subscriptions if the publisher declined to add in the ‘just cause’ labor protection and resulted in executives sitting down at the bargaining table this past weekend and subsequently agreeing to add in the measure.
“Since April, 2019, our membership has taken several actions in the name of just cause. Starting on Saturday, the company met us at the bargaining table to negotiate for what would be 35 hours over three days. Management finally listened to our members’ concerns and took to heart our need for basic job security,” said Natalie Meade, unit chair at the New Yorker Union.
Susan DeCarava, president of The NewsGuild of New York, the body through which The New Yorker is unionizing, added that it still has to negotiate the rest of the contract.
A New Yorker spokesperson said: “We are pleased that The New Yorker’s management has reached a tentative agreement with the New Yorker Union on a number of issues. The compromise we arrived at includes just cause, a principle insuring job security, and keeps editorial standards and judgments in the hands of the magazine. We’re hopeful that this moment will lead to productive talks on the remaining issues, and, soon, a contract.”
The New Yorker Festival began today and will run until Oct. 11. Speakers include Anthony Fauci, Malcolm Gladwell and Margaret Atwood. Ocasio-Cortez and Warren were due to appear on Monday. It’s not known if they will reschedule for another day.
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