It comes despite the announcement from other far-left media outlets—including the Washington Post, CNN, BuzzFeed, Gannett and NPR—that they would be forced to cut staffs and services due to the economic downturn.
But many suspect that the fake-news companies’ complicit conduct in a series of gaslighting ventures by the Democrat Party to secure its political power—among them the cover-up of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal and collusion with corrupt health officials in helping to censor important COVID-19 health information—may have pushed the outlets’ lack of credibility past its tipping point.
As the Left’s flagship propaganda-pusher, the Times‘s internal struggles and the failure of Congress to pass a recent media-bailout package may be seen as further indications that the Fifth Estate’s downward spiral is approaching its terminal velocity.
Even as left-wing journalists continue to do meet fewer and fewer of their job obligations—such as conducting well-sourced, fact-based reporting that is objective and transparent—they are demanding more and more in return for their obeisance to the elite establishment.
Newsroom employees and other members of the NewsGuild of New York said they were fed up with bargaining that has dragged on since their last contract expired in March 2021.
The union announced last week that more than 1,100 employees would stage a 24-hour work stoppage starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday unless the two sides reach a contract deal.
The NewsGuild tweeted Thursday morning that workers, “are now officially on work stoppage, the first of this scale at the company in 4 decades. It’s never an easy decision to refuse to do work you love, but our members are willing to do what it takes to win a better newsroom for all.”
Negotiations took place Tuesday and some of Wednesday, but the sides remained far apart on issues including wage increases and remote-work policies.
On Wednesday evening the union said via Twitter that a deal had not been reached and the walkout was happening. “We were ready to work for as long as it took to reach a fair deal,” it said, “but management walked away from the table with five hours to go.”
“We know what we’re worth,” the union added.
But New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha said in a statement that they were still in negotiations when they were told that the strike was happening.
“It is disappointing that they are taking such an extreme action when we are not at an impasse,” she said.
It was unclear how Thursday’s coverage would be affected, but the strike’s supporters include members of the fast-paced live-news desk, which covers breaking news for the digital paper. Employees were planning a rally for that afternoon outside the newspaper’s offices near Times Square.
Barring a breakthrough, @nytimes staff will walk out from midnight to 11:59pm Thursday, Dec. 8.
We’re asking readers to stand with us on the digital picket line and not visit any NYT platforms tomorrow. Read local news. Make something from a cookbook. Break your Wordle streak. https://t.co/KiUlHAtkuh
— Maggie Astor (@MaggieAstor) December 7, 2022
Rhoades Ha told the Associated Press the company has “solid plans in place” to continue producing content, including relying on international reporters and other journalists who are not union members.
In a note sent to guild-represented staff Tuesday night, Deputy Managing Editor Cliff Levy called the planned strike “puzzling” and “an unsettling moment in negotiations over a new contract.”
He said it would be the first strike by the bargaining unit since 1981 and “comes despite intensifying efforts by the company to make progress.”
But in a letter signed by more than 1,000 employees, the NewsGuild said management has been “dragging its feet” bargaining for nearly two years and “time is running out to reach a fair contract” by the end of the year.
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. pic.twitter.com/MTMdockEKK
— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) December 2, 2022
The NewsGuild also said the company told employees planning to strike they would not get paid for the duration of the walkout.
Members were also asked to work extra hours get work done ahead of the strike, according to the union.
Many @NYTimesGuild members are being directed to work extra hours ahead of Thursday to ensure work gets done. To add insult to injury, the company announced they plan to dock pay for members who participate in the walkout.
— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) December 6, 2022
The New York Times has seen other, shorter walkouts in recent years, including a half-day protest in August by a new union representing technology workers who claimed unfair labor practices.
In one breakthrough that both sides called significant, the company backed off its proposal to replace the existing adjustable pension plan with an enhanced 401(k) retirement plan.
The Times offered instead to let the union choose between the two. The company also agreed to expand fertility treatment benefits.
Levy said the company has also offered to raise wages by 5.5% upon ratification of the contract, followed by 3% hikes in 2023 and 2024. That would be an increase from the 2.2% annual increases in the expired contract.
Stacy Cowley, a finance reporter and union representative, said the union is seeking 10% pay raises at ratification, which she said would make up for raises not received over the past two years.
She also said the union wants the contract to guarantee employees the option to work remotely some of the time, if their roles allow for it, but the company wants the right to recall workers to the office full time. Cowley said the Times has required its staff to be in office three days a week but many have been showing up less often in an informal protest.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press