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New York Times Employees Strike for 24 Hours in Protest

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The New York Times staffers will go on strike for 24 hours after the company declined to satisfy compensation increase demands.

Around 1,100 employees will depart from their workstations. Many want to pique the interest of the company’s senior executives, who still need to satisfy the union’s requests. The strike will begin at 1 p.m. outside the Times’ Manhattan offices. Some of the company’s well-known names will appear during the strike, including Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones.

“It’s disappointing that they’re taking such drastic action,” said the Times CEO Meredith Kopit Levien.

“[It serves as a] clear commitment we’ve shown to negotiate our way to a contract that provides Times journalists with substantial pay increases, market-leading benefits, and flexible working conditions,” she added.

“From my point of view, this is an absolutely necessary shot across the bow. We’re approaching two years without a contract, which means we’re approaching two years without a raise. So each month that goes by, they’re taking more money out of our pocket,” said Michael Powell, an employee in the Times.

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The Times must keep an open ear

Union members noted that the firm resisted their requests. Even if the company’s stock has risen recently, the Times has rejected calls to raise staff pay. The firm’s digital subscriptions will stay profitable until 2027, with 15 subscribers projected across the country. Furthermore, with the $550 million purchase of the Athletic, the corporation delved into new revenue-generating ventures.

“We remain committed to working with the NYT NewsGuild to reach a contract that we can all be proud of,” spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha of the Times said.

“Still, management believes that with a renewed commitment to productive negotiations on both sides, we can make significant strides toward a contract,” added Deputy Managing Editor Cliff Levy.

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Protests from journalists

The planned strike will come after decades of walkouts by Times employees. Journalists said the corporation should share its fortune with its employees because it has had tremendous growth in recent years. Refusing their requests means rejecting the company’s most precious asset. Meanwhile, journalists in Pittsburgh launched a walkout against the Post-Gazette.

“Our salaries have gone steadily, year by year, backward against inflation [for decades]. It’s just reached the point where folks are saying enough. We’re lucky to be working for a paper that’s making money. And that’s doing well. And we are some of the reasons it’s doing well,” said a journalist.

“They have no desire even to meet their workers part-way. The company has not even acknowledged the strike, other than to say we’re welcome back to work at any time — and to make no concessions,” said another reporter who also attends another strike in Pittsburgh.

“A loss isn’t even on our mind. We’ve had three negotiating sessions since we went out on strike, and they’ve made no concessions. There’s no getting around that. But to make John and Alan Block listen to us is going to take a big effort like this,” he adds.

Photo Credit: Mario Tama

Source: NPR

Jeah Lorraine Adams has been a writer for the past two decades. She is also a mom of two.

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