Thursday, January 27, 2011

Harper's magazine unionized staff try online fundraising to head off layoffs

The recently founded union at Harper's magazine (see previous post) has put out a broad fundraising appeal with the apparent intention of holding publisher Rick MacArthur's feet to the fire. The union notes that the magazine lost five editors last year and, with parlous finances cited, is being asked to lose two more now, including Ben Metcalfe, who was pivotal in the union drive.
We have shown numerous means by which Harper’s Magazine might cut costs and increase revenue without laying off its most skilled and experienced editors, and in particular we have urged the magazine's foundation to raise funds from outside sources. This possibility has been rejected by the labor lawyers representing John R. “Rick” MacArthur, our publisher. They argue that fund-raising takes time, and that there is no time to be wasted in reducing our editorial staff by two union members.
We wish to counter this argument by showing Rick MacArthur how much money can be raised in just a few days via the extraordinarily useful medium of the Internet. Please pledge what you can and pass this on, with the assurance that all funds promised here will be offered, in friendship, to the Harper’s Magazine Foundation. If the pledges we garner are refused by the foundation, your generosity will cost you absolutely nothing; if accepted, they will help to sustain America’s oldest, and finest, monthly.

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