New York Times Staff Organize a 24-Hour Strike

The New York Times rejected demands for pay increases; therefore, over a thousand employees will partake in a 24-hour strike.

One thousand one hundred employees will leave their offices. Many of them hoped to draw the attention of the corporation’s senior executives, who disregarded the union’s requests. The protest will start at 1 PM in front of the Times’ Manhattan offices. The Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones will be among the well-known faces of the corporation throughout the strike.

“It’s disappointing that they’re taking such drastic action,” said the Times CEO Meredith Kopit Levien.

“[It serves as a] clear commitment we’ve shown to negotiate our way to a contract that provides Times journalists with substantial pay increases, market-leading benefits, and flexible working conditions,” she added.

“From my point of view, this is an absolutely necessary shot across the bow. We’re approaching two years without a contract, which means we’re approaching two years without a raise. So each month that goes by, they’re taking more money out of our pocket,” said Michael Powell, an employee in the Times.

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The Times needs to listen

Members of the union stressed that the firm only reluctantly heeded their requests. The Times rejected requests for increased employee compensation, despite the company’s stock price increase in recent years. With 15 subscribers anticipated across the nation, the company’s digital subscriptions will continue to be profitable until 2027. Additionally, the $550 million purchase of the Athletic marked the company’s entry into fresh revenue-generating projects.

“We remain committed to working with the NYT NewsGuild to reach a contract that we can all be proud of,” spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha of the Times said.

“Still, management believes that with a renewed commitment to productive negotiations on both sides, we can make significant strides toward a contract,” added Deputy Managing Editor Cliff Levy.

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More employees protest against employers

The planned strike will come before Times employees have ever taken any other strikes. Journalists opined that given the company’s recent rapid expansion, it should distribute its wealth to its employees. To deny their requests would turn the company’s most precious asset away. A walkout by journalists against the Post-Gazette was also called in Pittsburgh simultaneously.

“Our salaries have gone steadily, year by year, backward against inflation [for decades]. It’s just reached the point where folks are saying enough. We’re lucky to be working for a paper that’s making money. And that’s doing well. And we are some of the reasons it’s doing well,” said a journalist.

“They have no desire even to meet their workers part-way. The company has not even acknowledged the strike, other than to say we’re welcome back to work at any time — and to make no concessions,” said another reporter who also attends another strike in Pittsburgh.

“A loss isn’t even on our mind. We’ve had three negotiating sessions since we went out on strike, and they’ve made no concessions. There’s no getting around that. But to make John and Alan Block listen to us is going to take a big effort like this,” he adds.

Photo Credit: Mario Tama

Source: NPR

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.

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