About 1,100 employees of New York Times have gone on strike and stopped work, demanding pay hikes to tackle inflation.
Employees, including journalists disappointed at having reached no positive conclusion post discussions on contracts, stopped work at midnight on 8 December, 2022. A strike of this magnitude has never been called for at NYT in over four decades, according to the union, the NY Times NewsGuild.
While those not members of the Guild will continue to report for duty, others — that make up a significant number — including reporters, editors, guards and other employees, will stay away from work. Needless to say that their absence will disrupt operations.
The members of the Guild have been seeking better remuneration in keeping with the inflation. They have also been demanding better health insurance and retirement benefits, as was reportedly assured at the time of hiring.
The union members have been offered a 5.5 per cent hike upon ratification of the contract, three per cent increment in 2023 and 2024, and a four per cent retroactive bonus to make up for a lack of hikes since the expiry of the contract. The Guild is seeking a 10 per cent raise upon ratification, 5.5 percent raises in 2023 and 2024, and an 8.5 per cent retroactive bonus, according to a report in NYT.
The management is reported to be disappointed at the way the employees have chosen to protest, especially since they were far from reaching a stalemate, and negotiations were still on.
The workers, on the other hand, had already warned of a strike if a satisfactory conclusion to their talks with the management was not reached before 8 December 2022.
A 24-hour halting of work at the American daily has never happened ever since the 1970s.