Hundreds of employees of The New York Times staged a walkout this week in response to a contract dispute. The announcement came on Thursday from the NewsGuild union and indicated that the strike would last for 24 hours.
This marks the first time that a protest like this has been organized in more than 40 years.
Background on the dispute
In a letter that garnered signatures from more than 1,000 employees, several issues have resulted in a failure to reach any agreement with the venerable news outlet’s bosses. Specifically, the striking workers cited pay increase requests and disagreements over remote work options.
Current negotiations have been going on for the better part of two years after an agreement expired in March 2021, and employees are convinced that the company has not yet offered compensation that reflects their value to the organization.
As the letter asserts: “The Times company is profitable. It is time the unionized workers who made so much of this possible be properly compensated for their efforts.”
Both sides react
According to the union, striking workers “are willing to do what it takes to win a better newsroom for all,” acknowledging that it is “never an easy decision to refuse to do work you love.”
For company officials, however, a strike is unnecessary as negotiations continue to advance toward what the Times sees as an eventual resolution.
“It is disappointing that they are taking such an extreme step when we are not at an impasse,” said Rhoades Ha, a spokesperson for the newspaper.
Given the strike’s limited time span, it remains to be seen whether the Times will experience any lapse in news coverage. In addition to the possibility of using pre-written content from striking journalists, insiders say non-unionized workers can also fill in any staffing gaps.