New York Times CEO confirmed in an all staff email that members of NewsGuild will go on a 24-hour strike on Thursday.
This would be the first strike of its kind in 40 years. More than 1,100 employees are set to stage a walkout after talks broke down with the union.
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.”
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.
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.
Stacy Cowley, a finance reporter and union representative, said the union is seeking 10 per cent 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.