We may take pleasure in the suffering that is roiling the waters at the New York Times. Workers at the Times are struggling with the conditions of their employment. I hadn’t heard about the issues before reading Keith Kelly’s New York Post story “Over 1,300 New York Times employees pledge not to return to office.” Kelly himself seems to enjoy the contradictions:
The New York Times expects employees to start returning to the office three days a week starting this week — but more than 1,300 journalists are saying hell no, they won’t go.
It’s just the latest blow in the increasingly bitter contract dispute between the News Guild journalists union — which includes reporters and photographers, as well as some editors and business-side employees — and upper management, over wages.
As of Monday, 1,316 Times workers had signed a pledge not to return to the office. This includes 879 members of the News Guild, but also members of the Times Tech Guild and the union for Wirecutter, the paper’s product-recommendation spinoff.
“People are livid,” Tom Coffey told The Post. A 25-year veteran editor at NYT, he works on the news desk and serves on the union’s Contract Action Committee.
He added that being forced to return to the office during a period of high inflation means workers will have to spend more money on gas, mass transit, clothing and lunches, despite the lack of salary increase.
NYT video journalist Haley Willis tweeted today: “The @nytimes is giving employees branded lunch boxes this week as a return-to-office perk. We want respect and a fair contract instead — so I’m working from home this week along with 1,300 of my @NYTimesGuild and @NYTGuildTech colleagues, with support from @WirecutterUnion.”
One source said that the branded NYT lunch boxes did not have any sandwiches or other lunch food inside. “They were empty,” said one source. “And the lunch box had no handles.”