After 2.5 years (!!) of bargaining, unionized workers at The New Yorker still do not have a fair contract — and they’re on the verge of a strike, if that’s what it will take to get what they deserve. You can learn more about their demands and what their picket line will look like in the event of a strike here.
As media freelancers, we have a crucial role to play when our colleagues go on strike. We can help ensure the strike’s success by committing not to work for the publication while a strike is ongoing — e.g. honoring the picket line.
Wait, what’s a picket line exactly? Traditionally, this is where striking workers gather not only to demonstrate, but to monitor who enters the workplace. The goal of a strike is to bring a company’s operations to a halt, and strikers want to ensure no one crosses the picket line and goes to work. A picket line may be less physical in the digital age, but the goal is still the same: to bring the company’s operations to a standstill. Any work done for a company during a strike undermines this effort, and therefore constitutes crossing the picket line.
If The New Yorker workers strike, what will they ask of freelancers?
- Do not perform struck work for The New Yorker (i.e., work that is usually done by members of the union, such as copy editing and fact checking).
- Do not pitch or produce new work for The New Yorker.
- Do not submit edits to forthcoming stories.
- Do not share newyorker.com links.
- Do ask that your work not be published during the strike. If management publishes your work despite your wishes, let the union know.
- Do encourage your audience to support the striking workers.
- Full details here!
How can I show solidarity with the workers at The New Yorker
- Attend in-person events in NYC, including a picket on Anna Wintour’s block, 6/8, at 6:30pm
- Are you an editor? Let us know if you’re open to hearing from freelancers who would be redirecting pitches in support of the picket line.