Reporters and editors who are part of a union at the New York Times walked off the job on Thursday as part of a one-day strike.
The strike comes nearly two years after a contract between the New York Times and its unionized employees expired. Around four dozen bargaining sessions have taken place since then, with reporters and editors working without a new agreement since March 2021, the newspaper said in a story published Wednesday evening.
Around 1,100 employees are expected to take part in the one-day strike, a show of force that is intended to communicate dissatisfaction with how the company is progressing on bargaining discussions. About 1,450 employees are part of the NewsGuild union at the New York Times, which makes up about 80 percent of the newspaper’s newsroom.
In a statement, a union spokesperson said salary proposals are one key element that has triggered the strike. Managers are offering around 2.75 percent in wage increases, which pales in comparison to what the newspaper’s top executives bring home.
“[The newspaper’s] wage proposal still fails to meet the economic moment, lagging far behind both inflation and the average rate of wage gains in the U.S.,” the spokesperson for the NewsGuild said.
Good morning. New York is a Union Town! pic.twitter.com/uwhpGf1xzR
— NewsGuild of New York (@nyguild) December 8, 2022
Ken Belson, a sports reporter at the newspaper, said union employees also want assurances that health care and pension benefits are preserved in a new agreement.
In a newsroom-wide memo this week, New York Times executive editor Joe Kahn said talks had not stalled between the two sides.
“While the company and the NewsGuild remain apart on a number of issues, we continue to trade proposals and make progress toward an agreement,” Kahn said.
The NewsGuild recently backed a proposal in Congress to tax technology companies for the privilege of linking to news reports and other content on the Internet. The measure, called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, stalled after lawmakers failed to incorporate it in a defense spending bill at the last minute.