New York Times braces for 24-hour newsroom strike




  • In US
  • 2022-12-07 21:07:52Z
  • By Associated Press
 

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Times is bracing for a 24-hour walkout Thursday by hundreds of journalists and other employees, in what would be the first strike of its kind at the newspaper in more than 40 years.

Newsroom employees and other members of The NewsGuild of New York say they are fed up with bargaining that has dragged on since their last contract expired in March 2021. The union announced last week that more than 1,100 employees would stage a 24-hour work stoppage starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday unless the two sides reach a contract deal.

Negotiations lasted for more than 12 hours into late Tuesday and continued Wednesday, but the sides remained far apart on issues including wage increases and remote-work policies.

"It's looking very likely that we are walking on Thursday," said Stacy Cowley, a finance reporter and union representative. "There is still a pretty wide gulf between us on both economic and a number of issues."

It was unclear how the day'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 are planning a rally for Thursday afternoon outside the newspaper's offices near Times Square.

New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha told The Associated Press that the company has "solid plans in place" to continue producing content, that include relying on international reporters and other journalists who are not union members.

"While we are disappointed that the NewsGuild is threatening to strike, we are prepared to ensure The Times continues to serve our readers without disruption," Rhoades Ha said in separate statement.

In a note sent to Guild-represented staff Tuesday night, Deputy Managing Editor Cliff Levy called the planned strike "puzzling" and "an unsettling moment in negotiations over a new contract." He said it would be the first strike by the bargaining unit since 1981 and "comes despite intensifying efforts by the company to make progress."

But in a letter signed by more than 1,000 employees, the NewsGuild said management has been "dragging its feet" bargaining for nearly two years and "time is running out to reach a fair contract" by the end of the year.

The NewsGuild also said the company told employees planning to strike they would not get paid for the duration of the walkout. Members were also asked to work extra hours get work done ahead of the strike, according to the union.

The New York Times has seen other, shorter walkouts in recent years, including a half-day protest in August by a new union representing technology workers who claimed unfair labor practices.

In one breakthrough that both sides called significant, the company backed off its proposal to replace the existing adjustable pension plan with an enhanced 401 (k) retirement plan. The Times offered instead to let the union choose between the two. The company also agreed to expand fertility treatment benefits.

Levy said the company has also offered to raise wages by 5.5% upon ratification of the contract, followed by 3% increases in 2023 and 2024. That would be an increase from the 2.2% annual increases in the expired contract.

Cowley said the union is seeing 10% pay raises at ratification, which she said would make up for the pay raises not received over the past 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 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 fewer days in an informal protest.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Mystics still see themselves as contenders after Liberty, Aces load up on stars
Mystics still see themselves as contenders after Liberty, Aces load up on stars

Two WNBA franchises are loading up and creating 'super teams.' Mystics general manager Mike Thibault still likes his team's odds.

Brandon Crawford discusses Giants
Brandon Crawford discusses Giants' wild offseason, what his future holds

Brandon Crawford has watched Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria depart, as well as a new shortstop nearly come to the Giants. Before FanFest, he discussed a wild offseason and why this winter has been so productive for him.

'We're not leaving': How Wendell Smith, Sam Lacy and Black press pushed to integrate MLB during 1930s and 1940s

The Black press, led by sports writers Wendell Smith and Sam Lacy, advocated to end baseball's color barrier and integrate MLB in the 1930s and 1940s.

Why some who experienced police confrontations say Tyre Nichols was right to run
Why some who experienced police confrontations say Tyre Nichols was right to run
  • US
  • 2023-02-02 17:58:33Z

Several people who experienced aggressive stops by police explain why running from officers can feel like the right choice during a confrontation.

Central Park Five members: This is why NY still needs wrongful conviction reforms | Opinion
Central Park Five members: This is why NY still needs wrongful conviction reforms | Opinion
  • US
  • 2023-02-01 17:41:21Z

Too many Black and brown people like us have suffered from injustice, and the Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act can right the wrongs of the past.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US