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New York Times employees begin 24-hour walkout

December 8, 2022

It is more than four decades since workers at the newspaper took such action. The dispute stems for issues relating to salary, remote work policies and the paper's employee evaluation system.

A guild member holds a placard supporting a union walk out, outside the New York Times building in Manhattan
A walkout of of this kind has not occurred at the New York Times since the 1980sImage: Jeenah Moon/REUTERS

More than 1,000 employees at The New York Times began a 24-hour walkout on Thursday.

In what is the first work stoppage in over 40 years at the newspaper, The NewsGuild labor union cited the organization's "failure to bargain in good faith," after setting a deadline for a contract for midnight December 8.

Newsroom employees and other members of the union say they are tired of negotiations that have been ongoing since their last contract expired in March of last year.

Almost two years of talks

Last week the union said: "After 20 months of negotiations, enough is enough: More than 1,000 members pledged to walk out if The New York Times does not agree to a complete and fair contract by December 8."

The NewsGuild tweeted Thursday morning that workers "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."

Talks were conducted across Tuesday and Wednesday this week but the sides remained far apart on issues such as salary, remote work policies and the newspaper's employee evaluation system, which the union says is susceptible to racial bias.

On Wednesday evening, the union tweeted that "management walked away from the table with five hours to go."

Paper says there is no 'impasse'

But New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha said in a statement that the sides were still in negotiations when the company was told that the strike was happening. She said it was "disappointing" that the union had resorted to the strike when there is no "impasse."

The Times Guild represents journalists as well as advertising, those working in sales, comment moderators, news assistants, security guards and staffers at The Times Center, the firm's events venue and virtual production studio.

jsi/aw (AP, Reuters)