New York Times journalists pledge to walk out for 24 hours over pay demands trends now
More than 1,000 union employees at the New York Times have pledged to walk out for 24 hours if the news publisher does not agree to a 'complete and equitable contract' by December 8.
NYT NewsGuild Unit Chair Bill Baker issued the walkout threat in a letter to Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien on Friday, a copy of which the union also posted on Twitter.
Arguing that their paychecks have been 'eviscerated by soaring inflation' while the company enjoys fat profits, the union members demanded 'wages that keep up with inflation and are commensurate with the value of our work.'
At the end of last year, regulatory filings show the Times had about 5,000 employees, including roughly 2,000 in newsroom roles, meaning the walkout would leave a skeleton crew in place to maintain the Times website and produce the physical newspaper.
NYT NewsGuild Unit Chair Bill Baker (left) issued a walkout threat in a letter to Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger (right) and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien on Friday
A NYT spokesperson insisted that the walkout would not stop the presses, telling DailyMail.com in a statement: '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.'
'We remain committed to working with the NYT NewsGuild to reach a contract that we can all be proud of,' the spokesperson added. 'Our current wage proposal offers significant increases.'
However, the union argues that management has negotiated in bad faith, dragging out bargaining sessions for a new contract over the past 20 months.
Union boss Baker, backed by the walkout pledge, demanded 'all-day, marathon' bargaining sessions in order to hammer out a new deal before the December 8 deadline.
In addition to concessions on base pay and health insurance, the union is also seeking a return to more flexibility on hybrid and remote work, after all employees were ordered back into the office as pandemic