One of our members, the association ACE Traductores (http://www NULL.ace-traductores NULL.org/) from Spain, let us know the following.
On 10 February 2015 Penguin Random House publishing group informed translators that the rates paid would be decreased from 16 February 2015, and that such an across-the-board measure was non-negotiable.
ACE Traductores immediately contacted representatives from the publishing group to protest against such measures and argue their own position. Unfortunately, the PRH representatives refused to engage in any form of negotiation, and we are therefore forced to protest publicly.
Over the years of economic hardship we translators have lived with the fact that our rates have not been increased for quite some time, indeed since before the economic situation started to deteriorate. Our purchasing power has been considerably affected, and we do not regret having made the sacrifice.
As a matter of fact, we have significantly contributed to the fight against economic depression. Publishers’ catalogues and best-seller lists reveal that translators’ work, in fact, represents a huge percentage of the turnover of larger publishing groups such as PRH. Over the past few years translated books have played a crucial role in overcoming economic difficulties.
That is precisely why it is unacceptable to increase our difficulties now that there are signs of economic recovery, especially when those who will benefit most from such recovery are big companies themselves. Expansionist policies such as PRH’s should not include pay-cut measures for those who provide the raw material that will eventually produce benefit. We who have so greatly contributed to growth cannot accept being negatively affected by it.
A low-rate policy can only adversely affect the final product that readers purchase. If professionals earn less, they must work longer hours in order to support themselves, and that can only result in poorer quality, which we will not accept for ethical, professional and cultural reasons.
For all the reasons mentioned above, ACE Traductores strongly opposes pay-cut measures, and publicly urges Penguin Random House to reconsider and revoke its decision.