More than 80 Harper’s Magazine writers and friends signed an open letter to publisher John “Rick” MacArthur supporting the unionization of the magazine’s staff and urging the publisher not to cut two editors. The publisher has since¬† defended his actions in another letter.

The 84 signatures on the original letter included: Tom Bissell, Heidi Julavits, Naomi Klein, Jonathan Lethem, and Zadie Smith. The letter asked MacArthur to seek alternative ways to reshape the magazine’s financial budget, suggesting the publisher study the models of other not-for-profit magazines.

Here’s a quote from the original letter: “Editorial costs can only be cut so far without damaging the quality of the publication … At a time when there is much chatter about the death of print, publishing a magazine as brave and creative as Harper’s Magazine verges on a sacred trust.” (Via New York Magazine & Sarah Weinman)