When the annual New Yorker Festival began online yesterday, there were two notable absences: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who withdrew from the event last week in support of the New Yorker Union’s planned digital picket line.
In 2018, the staff of the New Yorker announced its intention to unionize, a decision that was quickly recognized by editor David Remnick. Among the workplace protections the staff had been gunning for was just cause, a policy that requires an employer to establish a case for why an employee should be fired.
Now, for the first time in the magazine’s history, New Yorker staff members will no longer be at-will employees.
The era of at-will employment at @NewYorker is over. We have reached an agreement with the company on #JustCauseNoExceptions, and we’re calling off our @NewYorkerFest picket. Thank you all for the support! pic.twitter.com/Azrnk3Hswr
— The New Yorker Union (@newyorkerunion) October 5, 2020
In a letter to CNN, NewsGuild of New York president Susan DeCarava wrote that the New Yorker Union’s victory “is a milestone not just for the NewsGuild of New York, not just for our members of The New Yorker who unionized a little over two years ago to form a union but also just across the industry.”
Last weekend, the New Yorker Union negotiated final details of the arrangement with company management for more than 30 hours. Conversations about the need for worker protection across the publishing industry, and the media landscape more generally, have understandably bubbled up again this year.
It’s with great joy that Lit Hub stands in celebration with the staff of The New Yorker. Congrats!