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Over 1,000 NY Times Staffers Publicly Turn Against the Paper and Walk Out: 'Enough Is Enough'

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A union that represents employees of The New York Times gave the order this week for its members to strike after over a year’s worth of stalled negotiations with the Gray Lady’s management.

The 24-hour strike resulted in more than 1,100 members of the union walking out on Thursday morning, Axios reported.

The Times Guild, represented by the NewsGuild of New York, consists of roughly 1,400 employees, including its award-winning journalists, security guards and other staffers. Bill Baker, the unit chair for the union, said about 80 percent of its members work in the Times’ newsroom, leaving editors at the paper in a chaotic crunch to get digital and print editions completed and published.

The union members held to a walkout vow made earlier this month.

“After 20 months of negotiations, enough is enough: Today, more than 1,000 @NYTimesGuild members pledged to walk out if @nytimes does not agree to a complete and fair contract by Dec. 8.”

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In a series of tweets, the Times Guild explained several reasons why it felt a 24-hour strike — the first of its kind at the paper in 40 years — is necessary at this junction in the negotiation process.

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“Today we were ready to work for as long as it took to reach a fair deal, but management walked away from the table with five hours to go. It’s official: @NYTimesGuild members are walking out for 24 hours on Thursday. We know what we’re worth,” the union tweeted.

Several hours before that tweet was published, the guild called for NYT readers not to engage in the outlet’s popular games, such as Wordle, if a satisfactory deal wasn’t reached.

“If @NYTimesGuild members don’t have a deal soon, we’re asking readers to not engage in any @nytimes platforms tomorrow and stand with us on the digital picket line! Read local news. Listen to public radio. Pull out a cookbook. Break your Wordle streak,” the union tweeted.

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On Dec. 2, the Times Guild tweeted a list of its demands, which included common union requests like keeping pensions intact, pay raises and healthcare funding. The union said that Times’ management had given them only “lunch boxes” and “excuses about economic uncertainty” before pointing out a series of big money moves made by the outlet.

“In 2022, the @nytimes spent millions of dollars to purchase Wordle and The Athletic and allocated $150 million in stock buybacks to its investors. And yet it is still offering wage ‘increases’ that amount to pay cuts during record-high inflation,” the guild tweeted.

In a follow-up tweet, the guild added, “This walkout pledge was not a decision we made lightly. But the truth is @nytimes is a blank page without @NYTGuild members. It’s time they gave us a contract that reflects our true worth.”

Times CEO Meredith Kopit Levio addressed the unprecedented strike in a Wednesday memo, writing, “This will be the bargaining unit’s first strike in more than 40 years.”

Axios quoted a Times representative claiming that negotiations are still ongoing, adding that there isn’t a deadlock between the two parties. “It is disappointing that they are taking such an extreme action when we are not at an impasse,” the representative reportedly said.

The Times’ executive editor Joseph Kah vowed to publish Thursday’s edition but noted “it will be harder than usual.”

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Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance journalist and writer. He began reporting news and writing commentary during the 2014 Ferguson riots. Prior to that, he worked as a web editor and columnist for an award-winning local newspaper.
Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance writer covering politics and breaking news. He previously worked as a columnist and web editor for an award-winning local newspaper. When he's not writing, he's honing his competitive BBQ skills. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Truth Social.
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