UNITED STATES: The New York Times’ 24-hour strike began on Thursday by hundreds of journalists and other staff members. It is the first strike in more than 40 years.
The NewsGuild of New York’s newsroom employees and other union members say they are tired of the protracted negotiations that have taken place since their previous contract expired in March 2021.
In the event that a contract cannot be reached, more than 1,100 workers will launch a 24-hour work stoppage beginning at 12.01 a.m. on Thursday, according to a union announcement made last week.
According to a tweet from The NewsGuild, “Are now officially on work stoppage, the first of this scale at the company in four decades. It’s never an easy decision to refuse to do work you love, but our members are willing to do what it takes to win a better newsroom for all.”
The parties engaged in negotiations on Tuesday and a portion of Wednesday, but they did not come close to reaching an agreement.
The union tweeted on Wednesday night that a settlement had not been reached and that a walkout was taking place.
The union stated, “We know what we’re worth.”
When they learned about the strike, Danielle Rhoades Ha, a Times spokesman, said in a statement they were still in discussions.
Although the live-news desk, which covers breaking news, has some strike supporters, it was unclear how Thursday’s broadcast would be impacted.
The workers had organized a rally for that afternoon in front of the Times Square offices of the newspaper.
The NewsGuild claimed in a statement signed by over 1,000 workers that management had been “dragging its feet” in contract negotiations for almost two years.
“Time is running out to reach a fair deal by the end of the year,” the statement added.
The NewsGuild further claimed that the employer informed workers who planned to strike that they would not be paid during the strike. To complete their work before the strike, members were also reportedly asked to put in extra time.
A half-day protest in August by a new union representing technology workers who claimed unfair labor practices was one of several recent, shorter walkouts at The Times.
Both parties hailed the company’s decision to back off its proposal to replace the current flexible pension plan with an improved 401k retirement plan as a significant breakthrough.
The Times proposed that the union pick one out of the two options instead. The business also consented to increase benefits for fertility treatments.
According to Levy, the business has also offered to increase salaries by 5.5% upon contract approval, followed by 3% increases in 2023 and 2024. That would be more than the 2.2% annual raises in the contract that was about to expire.
She added that while the company wants the right to call workers back to the office full-time, the union wants the contract to guarantee employees the option to work some of the time remotely if their roles allow it.
According to Cowley, the Times has required employees to work three days a week, but many have come in less frequently as a form of informal protest.