The New York Times union has demanded readers to boycott the newspaper — as well as the famous crossword game Wordle — after negotiations over higher wages and more flexible remote work fell through on Wednesday.
In a strongly worded tweet, the NYT News Guild reiterated the threats to thousands on social media, urging users to abstain not only from the Times’ print and digital publications, but also from the popular puzzle game.
It comes as the union — made up of more than 1,100 Times staffers — threatened a 24-hour strike in a letter to Times Publisher AG Sulzberger Friday, setting a deadline to settle talks for next Thursday.
But negotiations have since stalled, even after a final appeal to the top copper that reportedly lasted more than 12 hours, from late Tuesday to Wednesday.
Those talks seemed to yield little, with both sides — led by union president Bill Baker and Sulzberger, respectively — remaining divided over demands such as higher wages to address inflation and improved health benefits.
Now, just hours away, Thursday’s deadline seems like a lost cause, with the Times News Guild now taking to Twitter to urge readers to join their protests — by any means necessary.
The New York Times union has demanded readers boycott the newspaper — as well as the crossword game Wordle — after negotiations over increased pay and flexible remote working fell through on Wednesday
The guild’s tweet, posted just after 2 p.m. Wednesday, mentioned one of the ways Times readers could choose to support their cause: not playing Worlde, which was released by The New York Times Company earlier this year. purchased.
“@NYTimesGuild members have no deal coming soon, we ask readers not to join @nytimes platforms tomorrow and be on the digital picket line with us!” read the post, advising news consumers to “read local news” and “listen to public radio” instead.
“Pull out a cookbook,” the post continued, before reminding would-be picketers to stop playing the puzzle game – which was recently found to be the most searched term of the world – in addition to putting down the paper and its online counterpart. 2022.
“Break your Wordle streak,” the organizers wrote, sharing an image intended to resemble a Wordle game board.
However, instead of the usual jumble of random letters, a message was spelled out on the front of the game. “Times Union Staff Walks,” it read, warning of the impending strike, which will begin at midnight on Thursday.
If the protest continues, the newspaper could remain massively understaffed, as currently about 2,000 staff members staff the New York editorial office.
That said, a strike would see more than half of those workers refusing their day jobs, likely leaving a skeleton crew to make sure that both the Times website and print work properly.
Those talks seemed to yield little, with both sides — led by union president Bill Baker and Times Publisher AG Sulzberger, respectively — remaining divided over demands such as higher wages to address inflation and improved health benefits.
During the strike, reporters plan to pick up outside NYT headquarters in Manhattan for a 24-hour work stoppage that could soon be followed by a more sustained strike, a Times reporter told me. New York magazine.
“The next step, if we can’t get anywhere at the negotiating table, of course, is to consider things like a strike authorization,” reporter Michael Powell told the outlet this week.
He added that “none of us want to enter the terra incognita if this isn’t seen as a major warning shot.”
In the meantime, staffers have said a strike Thursday is more than likely, with financial reporter Stacey Crowley – who is also a representative for the NYT News Guild – saying that even after the recent negotiations, “There’s still a pretty wide gap between us on… a number of issues.’
Supporters of the strike, meanwhile, include a number of members of the paper’s famed fast-paced live news desk, which covers news in real time for the digital newspaper.
The union has also claimed that several major bureaus at the newspaper could lose up to 90 percent of their workforce as a result of the strike.
However, a spokesperson for the Times said that’s not the case, telling The Associated Press on Wednesday that the company has “solid plans” to continue producing content even during a strike.
The newspaper’s turmoil can be traced back to March when a group of nearly 600 tech workers voted to unionize as the company faced allegations of unlawful interference in labor organization.
In a letter signed last week by more than 1,000 employees, the NewsGuild said talks with management have been going on for much longer, claiming that the newspaper’s buyers have been “slow” to negotiate for nearly two years.
He added that “time is running out to reach a fair contract by the end of the year.”
Staffers have said they are particularly upset by the perception that the company and upper management are rolling in cash and not sharing enough of the profits.
Baker’s letter mentioned the company’s expected operating profit of $300 million for this year, and insiders are furious over a fat pay rise recently received by publisher Sulzberger, the 41-year-old son of longtime Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.
Regular filings showed that Sulzberger — the sixth member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family to serve The Times as publisher since the paper was purchased by Adolph Ochs in 1896 — took home $3.6 million last year, an increase of 50 percent from the equally eye-watering $2.4 million he took last year.
NYT NewsGuild Unit Chairman Bill Baker sent the above letter Friday to Times Publisher AG Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien, threatening a December 8 strike
But Times management insists their contract offers have been generous.
“The majority of negotiating unit members would earn 50 percent or more in additional revenue over the life of the new contract than if the old contract had continued,” the NYT spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
“In addition, our accompanying medical and retirement proposals provide sustainable, best-in-class options for Guild members.”
In addition, under our latest proposal, a union reporter earning $120,000, which is slightly lower than the median base salary in the unit, would earn approximately $33,000 more over the life of the new contract — or 57 percent more than if the old contract had continued,” the statement said.
“A union reporter earning $160,000 would earn about $44,000 more over the life of the new contract, or 108 percent more than if the previous contract had continued.”