Times Plans for 24-Hour Strike

Company, union have been without a contract since March 2021
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 7, 2022 5:37 PM CST
Times Plans for 24-Hour Strike
The New York Times building is shown in October 2009 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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 12:01am Thursday unless the two sides reach a contract deal. Negotiations lasted for more than 12 hours into late Tuesday and continued Wednesday, the AP reports, but the sides remained far apart on issues including wage increases and policies on remote working.

"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. Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha told the AP 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.

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." In a letter signed by more than 1,000 employees, the NewsGuild said management has been "dragging its feet" on bargaining for nearly two years. The NewsGuild also said the company told employees planning to strike they would not be paid for the duration of the walkout. Members were also asked to work extra hours to finish work ahead of the strike, according to the union. (Management promised workplace culture changes last year.)

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