NYT staffers to go on historic 24-hour strike after management-union talks fail


More than 1,100 of staffers of The New York Times will go on a 24-hour strike on Thursday in what would be the first strike of its kind at the newspaper in more than 40 years.

New Delhi: More than 1,100 of staffers of The New York Times will go on a 24-hour strike on Thursday in what would be the first strike of its kind at the newspaper in more than 40 years.

The historic work stoppage will come into effect at midnight on 8 December.

Instead of filing stories, employees will gather outside The Times’ offices at 1pm, with prominent journalists such as Nikole Hannah-Jones set to speak during a solidarity rally, according to a CNN report.

“It’s disappointing that they’re taking such drastic action, given the 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,” the report quoted Meredith Kopit Levien, president and chief executive of The Times, saying in an email to the company Wednesday night.

The NewsGuild of New York, which represents journalists and other staffers at The Times, said in a statement that the walkout was “due to the company’s failure to bargain in good faith, reach a fair contract agreement with the workers, and meet their demands,” the report added.

According to the NewsGuild of New York, some major desks will be losing a staggering 90 per cent of their workforce during the strike.

“We had hoped to reach a fair deal before our deadline, but more than 1,100 of us are ready to take a stand together, for each other and for journalists everywhere,” CNN quoted reporter Jenny Vrentas as saying.

Why are the journalists striking work?

The strike comes as the gray lady and the NewsGuild remain at odds over a number of issues, particularly wages.

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.

In its defence, The Times said it has offered the guild “significant increases,” but the union counters that the paper has “frequently misrepresented its own proposals.”

The union had announced last week that work stoppage will start at 12.01am on Thursday unless the two sides reached a contract deal.

Why the negotiations failed?

Negotiations lasted for more than 12 hours into late Tuesday and continued on Wednesday, but both the sides failed to arrive at an agreement on issues including wage increases and remote-work policies.

The Union Times, a newsletter published by the NewsGuild, described The Times’ wage concessions on Wednesday as “paltry” and said management has “barely budged” on the issue.

On Wednesday evening the union said via Twitter that a deal had not been reached and the walkout was happening.

“We were ready to work for as long as it took to reach a fair deal,” it said, “but management walked away from the table with five hours to go.”

“We know what we’re worth,” The Guardian quoted the union as saying.

The two parties have been bargaining since the last contract expired in March 2021. Last Friday, the NewsGuild informed The Times about its plans to stage a walkout, a move aimed at applying pressure to management to offer additional concessions in negotiations.

The union asked The Times to meet in the middle on wage increases, but the newspaper believes the union started from an extreme position, making doing so a non-starter.

Both sides have worked throughout the week to avert the 24-hour strike. But it was to no avail.

With inputs from agencies

This article originally appeared on https://www.firstpost.com/ and was reproduced here with permission


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