Strike at the New York Times

Union and staff protest working conditions


Photo by Mac Fleming IV

The Times is now back to regularly scheduled coverage with the contract negotiations coming to a close. However, weeks ago, the New York Times staff brought attention to their wants and needs from the owners of the newspaper through a one day strike. – Made in Canva

Over 1,100 New York Times newsroom employees walked out of the office to engage in a 24-hour strike on Thursday, Dec. 8, because of stalls in contract negotiations.

After the last contract from the Times expired in March 2021, the union has attempted to confer with the Times to make a new contract that includes increased pay, better benefits and retirement addendums. These negotiations had been ongoing, so the NewsGuild of New York helped the union plan a strike that would last one day to gain attention.

“As someone who wants to go into the journalism field when I’m older, it’s very nerve-racking because of everything that’s happening in that career,” aspiring journalist Natalya Shelton (11) said. “Like it’s already hard enough as it is to find a good, solid place to work as a journalist. And now, seeing that one of the most popular journalism corporations, New York Times, is having issues is making me nervous for my future.”

The terms that the guild is fighting for are a 10% pay increase after the contract is ratified and a 5.5% pay increase every year for 2023 and 2024. In addition, the staff wants a minimum salary of 65,000 dollars based on the high cost of living in New York.

“I have an issue with employees in the workplace acting like they own the company,” Jaguar Media adviser Rachel Kidder said. “And I feel like the publishers and the owners need to stop letting the journalists run the show. I feel like there are ways to get your point across to the higher-ups without disrupting the workplace.”

The union also made managers aware of their plans to strike a week before the event, so they had time to put out physical copies still and release stories that day.

“I honestly feel like the way they executed was honorable,” Roar Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Avery Myers (12) said. “They didn’t use any violence. They didn’t damage anything at the New York Times. They made their point and went back to working in 24 hours.”