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NY Times union warns of walkout on Thursday

Hundreds of journalists at The New York Times are threatening a walkout starting Thursday if the company does not reach a deal with their union.

“While they could have been focusing on bargaining, @nytimes is focused on preparing to minimize the impact of a walkout rather than putting in a good-faith effort to avoid one,” the New York Times Guild wrote in a statement published on Twitter this week, alleging members of the union “are being directed to work extra hours ahead of Thursday to ensure work gets done.”

“To add insult to injury, the company announced they plan to dock pay for members who participate in the walkout,” the guild said.

The Times union is planning a demonstration outside the newspaper’s global offices in Manhattan on Thursday, with a number of the company’s leading journalists set to participate and speak.

“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,” the Times said in a statement to The Hill on Wednesday. “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. 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.”

The Times Company and its workers union have for month been negotiating a contract with a number of issues stymieing talks, including employee pay and benefits.

Another recent point of contention between the Times and its employees is return-to-office procedures. In September, the Times workers union sent a letter to the news organization’s leadership with the names of nearly 1,300 NewsGuild member employees who signed a pledge to continue to work remotely.

On Tuesday evening Cliff Levy, deputy managing editor of Times, sent a note to NYT NewsGuild-represented staff after negotiations concluded for the day.  

“We hope that these major moves by the company today will spur negotiations forward, and we are obviously not done bargaining,” Levy wrote in the note, which was obtained by The Hill. “As such, the NewsGuild’s decision to call a strike is so puzzling. This approach usually occurs when the two sides have reached an impasse, but that has clearly not occurred.”

Updated at 10:39 a.m.

Tags The New York Times The New York Times Guild
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