“Hey Times bosses, here’s some news — when you fight the Guild, you’re going to lose,” chanted around 100 staffers at The New York Times Wednesday at a rally outside the Grey Lady’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Midtown to protest management’s alleged antiunion tactics.
Members of three bargaining units at The New York Times — the Times Guild, Times Tech Guild and Wirecutter Union — were armed with plaques reading “The NYT Runs on Union Labor,” “NYT: Stop Union Busting Now,” “The truth is journalism needs safe workplaces” and “NYT: $1 Billion in Cash,” while a number of speakers rallied the crowd through loudspeakers.
Leading the protest was Susan DeCarava, president of the NewsGuild of New York, which represents all three units, calling out the company with claims of union busting, including allegations of negotiating in bad faith and multiple unfair labor practices.
“We’re here today to tell management in no uncertain terms that their union busting has got to go,” she contended. “This is a company…making record profits. They are sitting on more than $1 billion in cash and they have the nerve to slow walk out contract negotiations, refusing to allow our members to attend negotiations and fighting tooth and nail against the formation of our tech union. We’re here to tell them that time is over. No more union busting. No more slow walking on our contracts.”
Sarah Kobos, a senior photo editor at Wirecutter, the shopping arm of The New York Times that is planning a strike during Black Friday week — the busiest shopping period of the year in the U.S. — claimed to the crowd that management would rather they go on strike than pay them fair wages. The union has been bargaining for nearly two years for its first collective bargaining agreement.
— Wirecutter Union (@wirecutterunion) November 16, 2021
“Management has said they would rather prepare for a Black Friday without us than agree to our reasonable wage demands. In fact, The New York Times Guild even offered to donate one of their upcoming bargaining sessions to us and we just heard back from management this morning. They refused. We have been bargaining our first contract for two years. That’s an unacceptable amount of time,” she said. “The New York Times has more than $1 billion in the bank and we’re asking for $300,000 of that to raise the salary floors across 67 people. To put that another way, we’re asking for 0.029 percent of the money The Times is merely sitting on.”
Representing the Times Tech Guild was Kathy Zhang, a member of the analytics team, who claimed that since the Tech Guild was formed in April, “upper management has fought us every step of the way.” That sentiment was shared by Bill Baker, unit chair for the union at the Times Guild, contending that “everywhere I look management is fighting union members at this company.”
In a statement provided to WWD, a spokeswoman for The Times said: “The New York Times has a long history of productive relationships with unions to advance our shared objectives. We’re actively working with The New York Times NewsGuild and the Wirecutter Union to put in place collective bargaining agreements that fairly reward our employees for their work and contributions to The Times’ success, and we look forward to continuing those negotiations at the bargaining table.”
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