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New York Times Staffers Go on One-Day Strike Amid Stalled Contract Talks

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More than 1,000

New York Times

NYT -0.72%

staffers went on strike on Thursday for the first time in over 40 years, its newsroom union said, putting the organization in the position of having to cover news for one day without the majority of its reporters.

The one-day work stoppage comes as contract negotiations between management and the members of the NewsGuild, which represents 1,450 Times staffers—including 1,270 newsroom employees—have stalled for nearly two years over pay and benefits.

Staffers are planning to picket the Times building in Midtown Manhattan at 1 p.m. on Thursday, the NewsGuild said.

In separate memos on Wednesday evening, Chief Executive

Meredith Kopit Levien

and Executive Editor

Joseph Kahn

expressed disappointment about the walkout.

“Strikes typically happen when talks deadlock,” Mr. Kahn wrote in an email to staffers. “That is not where we are today.”

Joseph Kahn, the New York Times’s executive editor, is leading the charge to cover the news while more than 1,000 reporters strike on Thursday.



Photo:

Bob Daemmrich/Zuma Press

The Times union said last week it would go on strike Thursday if a contract deal wasn’t reached by then.

By Wednesday evening, about 1,100 union members had pledged not to work Thursday and forgo pay, a NewsGuild representative said. Taking into account employees who aren’t part of the union, the Times has more than 1,800 newsroom staffers around the world.

A Times spokeswoman said that despite the large share of U.S. employees planning not to work Thursday, the company was “prepared to ensure the Times continues to serve our readers without disruption.”

The Times has identified editors with reporting backgrounds who can cover the news on Thursday, according to people familiar with the company. The strike won’t affect the company’s ability to publish a print paper, they said.

“We will produce a robust report on Thursday,” Mr. Kahn wrote in his memo Wednesday evening. “But it will be harder than usual.”

The negotiations have centered around pay, retirement and other benefits. The two sides haven’t yet come to terms on wages, including the size of raises for the next four years, according to the union and Times management.

During the bargaining process, the Times rejected a proposed wage floor of $65,000 for all Guild members, instead offering $62,500 in 2024, according to people familiar with the matter. The company recently offered a choice between keeping a pension plan or selecting a new 401(k) plan, a change from its initial proposal of replacing the pension with the 401(k).

The labor tensions come as the Times is in the process of integrating the Athletic, a sports website that it bought for $550 million this year, into its lineup of offerings. The company, like other media outlets, also faces a challenging economic climate as advertisers pare back spending.

Activist investor ValueAct Capital Partners LP recently took a significant stake in the Times, with the intention to push the media company to more aggressively market subscriber-only content.

Write to Alexandra Bruell at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


More than 1,000

New York Times

NYT -0.72%

staffers went on strike on Thursday for the first time in over 40 years, its newsroom union said, putting the organization in the position of having to cover news for one day without the majority of its reporters.

The one-day work stoppage comes as contract negotiations between management and the members of the NewsGuild, which represents 1,450 Times staffers—including 1,270 newsroom employees—have stalled for nearly two years over pay and benefits.

Staffers are planning to picket the Times building in Midtown Manhattan at 1 p.m. on Thursday, the NewsGuild said.

In separate memos on Wednesday evening, Chief Executive

Meredith Kopit Levien

and Executive Editor

Joseph Kahn

expressed disappointment about the walkout.

“Strikes typically happen when talks deadlock,” Mr. Kahn wrote in an email to staffers. “That is not where we are today.”

Joseph Kahn, the New York Times’s executive editor, is leading the charge to cover the news while more than 1,000 reporters strike on Thursday.



Photo:

Bob Daemmrich/Zuma Press

The Times union said last week it would go on strike Thursday if a contract deal wasn’t reached by then.

By Wednesday evening, about 1,100 union members had pledged not to work Thursday and forgo pay, a NewsGuild representative said. Taking into account employees who aren’t part of the union, the Times has more than 1,800 newsroom staffers around the world.

A Times spokeswoman said that despite the large share of U.S. employees planning not to work Thursday, the company was “prepared to ensure the Times continues to serve our readers without disruption.”

The Times has identified editors with reporting backgrounds who can cover the news on Thursday, according to people familiar with the company. The strike won’t affect the company’s ability to publish a print paper, they said.

“We will produce a robust report on Thursday,” Mr. Kahn wrote in his memo Wednesday evening. “But it will be harder than usual.”

The negotiations have centered around pay, retirement and other benefits. The two sides haven’t yet come to terms on wages, including the size of raises for the next four years, according to the union and Times management.

During the bargaining process, the Times rejected a proposed wage floor of $65,000 for all Guild members, instead offering $62,500 in 2024, according to people familiar with the matter. The company recently offered a choice between keeping a pension plan or selecting a new 401(k) plan, a change from its initial proposal of replacing the pension with the 401(k).

The labor tensions come as the Times is in the process of integrating the Athletic, a sports website that it bought for $550 million this year, into its lineup of offerings. The company, like other media outlets, also faces a challenging economic climate as advertisers pare back spending.

Activist investor ValueAct Capital Partners LP recently took a significant stake in the Times, with the intention to push the media company to more aggressively market subscriber-only content.

Write to Alexandra Bruell at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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