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400 NY Times Union Workers Walk Off The Job

From the New York Post:

NYT union members take it to the streets

By KEITH J. KELLY | Tues October 9, 2012

Hundreds of Newspaper Guild workers briefly walked off the job yesterday at the New York Times to protest the slow pace of talks over a new contract.

The action marked an amping up of the tensions between Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and the 1,200 workers in the largest union at the company.

“At every bargaining session for the past year and half, negotiators for the Times have offered us the same poisoned chalice: perpetually shrinking compensation,” said a union memo to members, urging them to take their protest to the street.

The union was careful not to call the mini-walkout a job action, urging only people who had about 10 or 15 minutes to spare to take part

But the newsroom did briefly empty out in New York as about 300 to 400 Guild reporters, photographers and ad-sales people left their posts at around 3:35 p.m. and made a brief walk outside one entrance, up Eighth Avenue and back inside at the 41st Street entrances.

The Washington bureau also engaged in a walkout at about the same time, sources said.

The Guild contract expired in March 2011.

“People are mad,” said columnist Jim Dwyer, who was among those staging the mini-walkout yesterday afternoon. “They are hurting financially. It’s a needless drain and a distraction from what they are doing [in their jobs]. This foot-dragging has gone on long enough.”

Workers are protesting paltry pay proposals and a company plan to freeze and eliminate the defined-benefit pension plan.

The two sides are scheduled to resume negotiations today…

Clearly, the incredibly wealthy family who own The Times do not care one bit about the suffering of their workers. They sound as bad as Bain Capital.

Meanwhile, we have this from the National Review:

NYT Union Chief: Times Is Hypocritical about Unions

By Charles C. W. Cooke | Mon October 8, 2012

I wandered down to the New York Times building in Manhattan this afternoon to watch the walkout, and I spoke to a union representative. I asked him whether he was concerned by the gap between the Times’s treatment of its unionized staff, and the pro-union rhetoric of the paper’s editorial board. He told me, “We have a problem with that. We’ve realized that what we’ve said in the New York Times editorial pages is not what is being followed…they fly in the face of their own editorial board…it’s just money”:

Our transcription of the exchange between Mr. Cooke and the New York Times union rep:

NYT Union Rep: We’re literally walking around the half-block. We have no intention of stopping putting out the newspaper or the website, we don’t want to disrupt that. We’re all on our breaks, we’re all on our lunches, and that’s about it. We’re all coming out here to try to save the NYT. We’re in the middle of union negotiations. We’ve been without a contract for nearly two years, we’ve been without a raise two and a half years. The company basically wants to decimate our health plan, decimate our income. We think that’s wrong for the newspaper, wrong for the future of the newspaper and the website. And we think that we’ve already given millions of dollars back to the company to help save this company during the recession, and we think it’s about time that they recognize that in this negotiation. It’s a very empty newsroom right now, I just came down. There’s only a few non-union members, management people up there, and the rest of the newspaper — it would be a very, very empty newspaper if that was all that would be there to try to put it out.

Cooke: The NYT took quite a hard line on Scott walker, for example, and said that trying to decimate unions was a bad thing, and that he was making it up that he was running out of money — it was not about that. And it said that the unions were losing out to the unfettered bank accounts of industry. And what you’ve described here sounds very similar. That the editorial board would level that at someone else and then do this — does that sound hypocritical?

NYT Union Rep: We’ve actually had a problem with that. We realize that what we say in the NYT editorial pages is not exactly what’s being followed by the negotiating committee of management. They come to the Guild, they demand more give-backs, they want to decimate our health plan, they fly in the face of their own editorial board. And we try to point that out to them, and we hope that members of the public will point that out to them as well.

Cooke: Why do you think that is? Why do you think there’s that divide?

NYT Union Rep: I think it’s money. It’s just money. They just don’t want to pay us that much. We’ve had a steady stream of journalists leaving for other news agencies: Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Bloomberg, you name it, they’ve gone to other places because they simply can’t afford to work here anymore.

We find it hard to believe that the owners of The Times would value over propagandizing for the faith.

On June 6th, the Times wrote an editorial that claimed, “Labor, so long in decline in the private sector, is also losing its clout in states and cities, unable to match or withstand the unfettered bank accounts of industry.” Indeed.

We are also so shocked to learn that The Times is run by hypocrites. But, then again, they are Democrats.

By the way, the only mention in today’s edition of the New York Times of its ongoing labor dispute is buried in today’s ‘Business’ section, in the ‘Media Decoder’ blog.

The article’s headline reads: "The Breakfast Meeting: Dunham Book Deal and Girls Who Like Steak," and the walkout gets only two sentences in the fifth and last paragraph of the article:

Nearly 400 Newspaper Guild employees of The New York Times held a brief walkout in New York Monday with about 20 doing likewise at the paper’s Washington bureau. The guild has been in protracted negotiations with management over a new contract but the two sides are still far apart on wages and benefits. The talks resume Tuesday.

Isn’t that typical?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “400 NY Times Union Workers Walk Off The Job”

  1. geronl says:

    Maybe they are hoping for a GM-style bailout?

    Let’s hope it does not happen.


  2. River0 says:

    “At every bargaining session for the past year and half, negotiators for the Times have offered us the same poisoned chalice: perpetually shrinking compensation,” said a union memo to members…

    Because the paper isn’t making money, you dunderhead! You reputation as a quality paper is wrecked, credibility is out the window, and fewer people read it every day!

    Where do the unions think the money is going to come from? Oh, yes, the 1% who can give them all the raises they want, or Obummer and his Axelrods..

    Just think how dramatic their turnaround would be if they began reporting in a “fair and balanced” way, like Fox News does. Hell, I’d probably subscribe!

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      As you point out, this behavior reveals the monumental disconnect that liberals have against reality.

      You get things because you want them, not because you did something to earn them.

      And, when the want is satisfied, they go about wanting something else, or something more, or both. And they don’t shut up until they get it.

      The company I work for filed for bankruptcy. Our unions had to take wage concessions. Things could not go on as they had been. We conservatives in the union saw that and went to the table many times for further concessions to the company. Many of us got furloughed anyway.

      But that’s business. In liberal unicorn heaven, if you have a job, it’s yours for life. Doesn’t matter if someone comes along that’s better at it or more efficient. Nope. The jobs is yours for all eternity….or so they think. But then, many liberals in the 47% have discovered that it’s better to not work and have uncle sugar provide. Perpetually. When UE runs out, file for disability. If that doesn’t work, get evaluated by some freakshow mental doctor and get diagnosed with a permanent mental disorder that will prevent you from even putting fasteners on widgets and get your disability that way.

      Of course, there are many conservatives out of work as well and I hope they can hang on a little longer. Being unemployed sucks. I’ve done it a few times and hated every single minute of it.

      But the rose-colored glasses utopians will never see that. Ask Na(n)zi Pelosi. “Every time an unemployment check goes out, an angel gets his wings.”

      Hopefully this bad dream will end in a month.

  3. Poor Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

    He talks like a DNC talking-points mouthpiece, but walks like a businessman trying to make a profit.

  4. yadayada says:

    so, just curious………
    is this the definition of irony or hypocrite ?

  5. repairman74 says:

    The print papers are losing space to the computer every day as well as losing readership.

    I parallel this to the steel mills in the 50 and 60’s that went out of business in the USA because of operating costs due mostly to the unions ever increasing demands for higher wages and benefits.

    My dad retired from Bethlehem Steel and was amazed that his retirement pay was more than what his pay checks were, a lot more.

    The garment industry, furniture manufacturing, Steel industry, all met their demise mostly due to unreasonable union demands and so too will the print papers only they will cease to exist because no one will have any use for them.

  6. GetBackJack says:

    Live By The Union, Die By The Union™

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