Saturday, September 23, 2023

New York Times Staffers Quit Their Job in the midst of a Contract Fight

  • New York Times staffers quit their jobs on Thursday for one-day.
  • Union staffers are engaged in heated contract negotiations over issues such as pay.
  • If the sides fail to reach a deal, there is a risk of a longer strike.

The New York Times union staffers walked off the job Thursday. This was the first such protest at The Times since the late 1970s.

More than 1,100 union members pledged to quit work at midnight on December 8, if no agreement was reached over a new contract. The stoppage was planned for 24 hours. 

“We ask readers to refrain from engaging in @nytimes platforms tomorrow, and to stand with us on our digital picket line!” tweetedAmanda Hesss, a critic-at large at The Times. “Read local news. Listen to public radio. Use a cookbook to make something. Break the Wordle streak

The union and Times management are still at odds. Insider reported in SeptemberThe main sticking point between the sides was money. The union has been pushing for a 8% increase each year for its members over the next four years, while the Times has responded with lower increases. The last contract expired in March 2013. 

“Strikes are most common when talks are in limbo. According to an article in the New York Times, Joe Kahn, executive editor of New York Times, wrote in a memo to staff that “Strikes typically occur when talks are deadlocked.” unbylined Times story about the one-day strike beginning. “While the NewsGuild remains apart on a variety of issues, we continue trade proposals and make progress toward an accord.”

The talks have been dragging on for months with union members growing increasingly frustrated. They have cited the paper’s business success and are asking to be given a larger share. Union members will picket outside the New York Times headquarters Thursday. 

“Management continues to reject the $65K salary ceiling proposed by the Times Guild, and their wage proposal still fails the economic moment. Lagging far behind both inflation rate and the average rate for wage gains in the U.S.,” a union statement stated. 

Vanity Fair reported that managers scrambled to devise a plan for contingency and asked staff to be prepared in case of a walkout. submit work earlyThey will do the same ahead of a holiday, but they will rely on nonunionized managers as well as international staff to keep the paper humming.

Although the walkout was only for one day, it is the most significant action the union has taken in many years. It suggests that there may be a longer strike in the future, as Insider previously reported. 

“I think people feel management doesn’t listen until everybody is beside themselves, ready to walk out of the door. So if that’s how it’s going take, then that’s it going to take,” Frances Robles (a Florida-based Times reporter) told Insider in September.

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