It’s been more than a month since Laura Harshberger, a senior production editor at HarperCollins (a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.), stopped producing children’s books and went on strike with more than 200 colleagues in New York City.

“We are not striking against our job, but for our jobs,” she told The Washington Post. “We want to work for HarperCollins, but we want to work for them with dignity, respect and fair wages.”

The striking workers — who are from the editorial, sales, publicity, design, legal and marketing departments — have three demands: HarperCollins should raise its minimum starting salary from $45,000 to $50,000; address the lack of diversity in its workforce; and provide more security for unionized workers.

In an open letter to authors and agents, HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray said the company’s current compensation offerings are consistent with peers in the publishing industry.

Workers say that is precisely the problem. “The industry has long been notorious for low salaries. But while the world has changed and the cost of living increases, publishing has not changed with it,” said David Palmer, a senior production editor at the company.

The outcome of the strike, which began Nov. 10, could go well beyond whether junior editors can afford to live in New York City, and may have a ripple effect on jobs across the publishing industry. Its impact may be seen in the quantity and diversity of books that are published for years to come, including whether a book is published because it is good, novel and unique, or whether it’s just a book that CEOs believe will make money…

“No one is doing their best work when they are worried about making rent,” said Stephanie Guerdan, an associate editor at HarperCollins. “Without a fair contract, only those who can afford to work in publishing will stay.” …