New York Times union urges readers not to engage with the publication as strike tensions rise

Members of the New York Times Guild union are calling on the public to join their strike by not reading The New York Times or accessing the Times’ digital platform.

As previously reported, the 1,000+ strong union threatened to conduct a 24-hour walkout/strike unless certain demands were met by Thursday, Dec. 8th.

The demands included “fair wages,” a non-biased “performance ratings system,” a “remote work policy,” no cuts to pensions, and an “investment that ensures our health care fund does not run at an unsustainable loss.”

Thursday is here, the strike has begun, and members of the Guild are now asking for the public’s assistance:

In a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon, New York Times Guild second vice-president Amanda Hess specifically asked readers of the Times “to not engage in any @nytimes platforms tomorrow and stand with us on the digital picket line!”

In a tweet posted shortly thereafter, fellow union member Maggie Astor re-upped the request, adding that the walkout would begin at midnight Thursday morning.

Guild members are also being aided in their efforts by congressional Democrats like extremely far-left Rep. Jamaal Bowman:

The reason for the walkout was first outlined to New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien in a letter sent last Friday by New York Times Guild union chair Bill Baker.

“For more than 20 months, we have worked in good faith to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, after the last one expired in March 2021. That good faith has not been returned by your negotiators,” Baker wrote.

“We have spent more than 120 hours across 40 bargaining sessions exchanging and amending dozens of proposals. We have listened carefully to management’s positions and concerns and have made countless revisions to address them. In return, we have been lectured about the dire economic future the company faces — even as the company tells Wall Street about a successful corporation that can afford to pay millions in salaries and benefits to its top executives,” he continued.

Baker added that after all this bargaining and negotiating, the Times’ management has thus far “only” agreed to a guaranteed 2.75 percent annual raise.

“This is unacceptable,” he concluded.

However, the Times for its part staunchly disagreed and had no plans at the time of backing down.

“While we are disappointed that the NewsGuild is threatening to strike, we are prepared to ensure The Times continues to serve our readers without disruption,” a Times spokesperson told the Daily Mail late last week.

“We remain committed to working with the NYT NewsGuild to reach a contract that we can all be proud of. Our current wage proposal offers significant increases,” they added.

The spokesperson was also very defensive of the “current” proposal.

“‘The majority of members of the bargaining unit would earn 50 percent or more in additional earnings over the life of the new contract than they would have if the old contract had continued. Moreover, our accompanying medical and retirement proposals offer sustainable, best-in-class options for Guild members,” they explained.

“For additional context, under our latest proposal, a reporter in the union making $120,000, which is slightly below the median base salary in the unit, would get about $33,000 in additional earnings during the life of the new contract — or 57 percent more than if the old contract had continued,” the spokesperson added.

That said, if the walkout continues as planned, it could potentially affect other papers as well.

“If the trade unions follow through, the New York Post, Newsday and the regional editions of the Wall Street Journal and USA Today could also be affected as they outsource their printing to the Times’ College Point printing plant,” according to Fox News.

As for the general public, while there are plenty of Americans willing to do their part to help the union, there are also plenty of critics that aren’t.

Case in point:

Republished with permission from American Wire News Service


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