(PatriotWise.com) – Hundreds of reporters from the New York Times held a one-day strike last Thursday after bargaining over their contract fell apart Wednesday night.
The 24-hour walkout began at midnight December 8th and marked the first strike of its kind at the New York Times in over 40 years.
The previous week, the union announced tentative plans for the Thursday walk-out and said more than 1,000 union members were committed to joining the strike if demands weren’t met.
Negotiations took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, but both sides remained at odds on some issues including remote-work policies and wage increases. However, the corporation conceded to some union requests, including agreeing to expand fertility benefits and rescinding attempts to end pension plans.
The union followed through on the strike after accusing management of rejecting what the union said were its “most important priorities,” namely pay increases, keeping pay minimums for new hires, and contributing more to healthcare funds.
According to Deputy Managing Editor Cliff Levy, the Times offered to raise wages by 5.5 percent once the contract was ratified, followed by 3 percent hikes in the next two years. But the union wanted 10 percent pay hikes upon ratification, arguing it would make up for the raises not received during the last two years when the contract lapsed.
The union argued that the 5.5 percent proposed rate hike “fails to meet the economic moment, lagging far behind both inflation and the average rate of wage gains in the US.”
The union also wants employees to have the option to work in a hybrid setting while the Times requires employees to work in the office three days a week.
And while the striking reporters can’t show up for work, some of them were able to show up to protest outside of the Times’ Midtown headquarters Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, non-union New York Times reporters remained on the job.
According to Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the New York Times, the newspaper planned to rely on its international reporters as well as non-union workers to churn out stories.
Executive editor Joe Kahn wrote in a note to the newsroom that work would continue Thursday, “but it will be harder than usual.”
We’ll keep you posted as the story continues to develop.
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