Union workers at the New York Times are urging readers to join a “digital picket line” by not engaging with any Times content on Thursday in support of a one-day strike against the paper.
Amanda Hess, second vice president of the New York NewsGuild, confirmed that more than 1,000 union employees at the Times will go on strike for 24 hours on December 8. In solidarity, Hess asked his Twitter followers to join them in boycotting New York. The times of that day.
“We’re asking readers to boycott the @nytimes platforms tomorrow and stand with us on the digital picket line! Read local news. Listen to public radio. Make something out of a cookbook. Break out your Wordle series,” Hess wrote.
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Times reporter and union member Maggie Astor tweeted almost identical language.
“In the wake of the above, the @nytimes staff will be walking out from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8. We’re asking readers to stand with us on the digital picket and stay off the NYT platforms tomorrow. Read local news. Make. something from a cookbook. Wordle your series break it,” Astor tweeted.
The New York Times Guild, the paper’s union for media workers, endorsed the message shortly after: “If members of the @NYTimesGuild do not reach an agreement soon, we ask readers to stay away from the @nytimes platforms tomorrow and join us on the digital picket line! Read the local news. Listen to public radio. Pick up a cookbook. Break your Wordle line.”
The strike will be the largest at the newspaper since 1978.
Democratic congressman Jamaal Bowman tweeted: “At midnight tonight, 1,100 @nytimes workers are on a 24-hour strike. Here’s what you can do… Do not engage with any New York Times platforms. DO NOT CUT THE DIGITAL PICKET LINE. Get your news from other sources and tell your friends to do the same. @nyguild”
The announcement comes after failed negotiations with management over a range of issues including pay raises, health insurance and pension plans. Although the union has threatened to strike until Friday, talks to end the strike appear to have failed.
Dissension over the negotiations was first reported by the New York Post in August after more than two years without a pay raise. Union members also demanded that workers retain the option to work remotely indefinitely, unlike the New York Times’ mandated deadline of July 2023.
The New York Post also reported that the exit could also disrupt publications outside the New York Times. If the unions follow suit, regional editions of the New York Post, Newsday and the Wall Street Journal and USA Today could also outsource their printing to the Times’ College Point printing plant.
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Meanwhile, New York Times executives are bracing for the possibility of a walkout on Thursday. According to Vanity Fair, employees and reporters have already been asked to write stories, and Chief Human Resources Officer Jacqueline Welch said workers would not be paid a day’s wages if they participated in the strike.
Striking New York Times employees are expected to picket outside headquarters at 1 p.m., and Nicole Hannah-Jones is scheduled to address the rally.