Journalists and employees of the historic North American outlet The New York Times began a 24-hour crackdown, the first of that magnitude in four decades. The workers, who went on strike en masse, are demanding a wage increase of more than 5 per cent.
Some 1,100 journalists and other workers at the temple of global journalism walked off the job between midnight Thursday and Friday because of a lack of agreement on wages in the new collective agreement, according to the New York-based NewsGuild newspaper union.
Hundreds of people of all ages and statuses gathered Thursday in front of the imposing headquarters of the New York Times Company, in western Manhattan, in a demanding but festive atmosphere.
According to NewsGuild, one of the sticking points is management’s refusal to significantly increase wages for two years, in an inflationary national and global context despite the fact that the publicly traded company is financially prosperous.
“The directors of the New York Times celebrate financial achievements while penalizing workers,” says the union in the brochures in which it is pleased that “more than 1,100 employees have stopped work, an unprecedented event in four decades “.
“The company does not treat unionized employees very well. We have been without a collective agreement for 20 months, we have worked non-stop during the pandemic, 20 hours a day, including weekends, and without increases” in wages, complained Albert Sun, a 34-year-old graphic designer who has worked at the NYT for 11 years.
For his colleague Phoebe Lett, you have to fight to “obtain a minimum salary of $65,000 per year (gross and before taxes).”
The NewsGuild of New York union, which brings together more than 1,000 employees, assures that the negotiations with the company took too long and demand that the contract that expired in March 2021 be reviewed. The proposal that the employer approached is far from what was raised by the union of journalists: they offer an average increase of 2.87%.
Phoebe Lett, a podcast producer for the outlet, tweeted: “Heartbreaking to have to be with nearly 1,200 peers sacrificing everything for the good of this place humbly asking @nytimes to show us they value us. But here we are.”
The outlet’s spokeswoman, Danielle Rhoades Ha, told the US media in a statement that the negotiations had not been broken and expressed her “disappointment” at this measure since both parties are not yet in “a dead end.”
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