After failed negotiations with the news publisher, New York Times employees will go on strike for 24 hours on December 8th.
More than 1,100 union employees at the New York Times Co will strike for one day after failing to reach an agreement with the news publisher on a “complete and equitable contract,” marking the newspaper’s first strike in more than 40 years.
“Over 1100 New York Times workers are now officially on work stoppage, the first of this scale at the company in four decades,” the NewsGuild wrote in a tweet. It’s never easy to refuse to do work you enjoy, but our members are willing to go to any length to ensure a better newsroom for all.
Why did the New York Times employees strike?
Newsroom employees and other members of The NewsGuild of New York have expressed frustration with the protracted bargaining that has occurred since their last contract expired in March 2021. The union announced last week that more than 1,100 employees would go on strike for 24 hours beginning at 12:01 a.m. Unless the two sides reach an agreement, the strike will begin on Thursday.
Stacy Cowley, a finance reporter and union representative, told AP that the union is seeking 10% pay raises at ratification to compensate for raises not received in the previous two years. She also said the union wants the contract to guarantee employees the option to work remotely some of the time, if their roles allow for it, but the company wants the right to recall workers to the office full time. Cowley said the Times has required its staff to be in office three days a week but many have been showing up less often in an informal protest.
A New York Times Reporter in a tweet wrote, “I’m sorry to share that negotiations with the Times collapsed tonight when the company walked off the table. I along with more than 1,000 of my colleagues will be on a 24-hour walk-out starting tonight at midnight.”
Another journalist wrote, “It is heartbreaking to have to stand with nearly 1,200 colleagues who sacrifice everything for the good of this place, hat in hand, asking NYT to show us they value us. But here we are. While I’m devastated, I have never been prouder to be in such good company.”
We are prepared to ensure the Times continues to serve our readers without disruption,” the Times spokesperson said.
As per Associated Press report, negotiations did take place on Tuesday and some of Wednesday, but the sides remained far apart on issues including wage increases and remote-work policies.
On Wednesday evening the union said via Twitter that a deal had not been reached and the walkout was happening. “We were ready to work for as long as it took to reach a fair deal, it said, “but management walked away from the table with five hours to go.
We know what we’re worth, the union added. It was unclear how Thursday’s coverage would be affected, but the strike’s supporters include members of the fast-paced live-news desk, which covers breaking news for the digital paper. Employees were planning a rally for that afternoon outside the newspaper’s offices near Times Square.