Tech employees at The New York Times to have formed a union under the NewsGuild of New York, and they demand voluntary recognition from the newspaper’s management. The new union, dubbed the Tech Times Guild, represents more than 650 employees from the digital side of the company, including software engineers, designers and data analysts.
Those employees are not included in the editorial association of The New York Times, which represents more than 3,000 reporters and media professionals at the newspaper and is also organized under NewsGuild. The editorial union has historically barred workers from the digital side of the newspaper, even as the company has grown into more ambitious data and digital work. As a result, the Tech Times Guild is looking for a separate negotiating unit that would negotiate separately with the Times management.
“As of now, we face a number of challenges,” said the Tech Times Guild in a statement on TwitterIncluding sudden or inexplicable termination, opaque promotion processes, unpaid overtime and underinvestment in various representations. Without a union, we lack the data or the right to negotiate to address these issues. “
The Times has not formally responded to the union’s request for recognition. Reached for comment, a Times representative said the company was still considering the request. “Voluntary recognition is an important decision,” The New York Times Company said in a statement. “We have heard questions from colleagues, such as what a union would mean for staff, who could be unionized and how colleagues would have a say in who could represent them. We want to make sure that all voices are heard. “
The new effort is situated between the media industry, which has seen widespread workforce organizing in recent years, and the tech world, where many organizational efforts have stalled. In March, an attempt to rejoin at Medium came just one vote short, a defeat followed shortly after by a painful restructuring at the company. A minority union formed at Google has avoided a vote, but friction between membership and union workers has increased.