More than 1,000 journalists and other New York Times employees walked off the job for 24 hours Thursday, frustrated by contract negotiations that have dragged on for months in the biggest labor dispute at the paper in more than 40 years.
Hundreds of reporters, editors, photographers and other employees gathered outside the paper’s offices near Times Square in Manhattan.
With an empty newsroom, The New York Times relied on international and non-union staff to provide content to its more than 9 million subscribers around the world until the strike ends at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
The New York NewsGuild union kept its promise to strike after the parties failed to reach an agreement in negotiations that broke down Wednesday night.
The parties remain far apart on issues such as wages, remote work policy and the performance appraisal system, which the union says is vulnerable to racial bias.
The current collective bargaining agreement expired in March 2021, and the union accused the company of stalling their negotiations.
“I’m not angry. I’m just deeply disappointed in our company,” said Nikole Hannah Jones, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who spoke at the rally. “You don’t have to struggle financially to work at a place like The New York Times, whatever your position.”
In an email to the newsroom, executive editor Joe Kahn expressed disappointment in the decision to go on strike when negotiations failed to materialize, the Times reported in its own report on the strike. Kahn said Thursday’s news production will be “robust” but “more difficult than usual.”
Stacy Cowley, a financial reporter and chief negotiator for the union, said the strike left many newsrooms, including hers, virtually empty. Among the participants were members of the live newsroom, responsible for covering breaking news for the digital publication.
The live news desk was Thursday and focused on the release of American basketball star Brittney Griner from a Russian prison as part of a prisoner exchange.
The union argued that employees deserve better pay to help The New York Times become a success story in a battered news industry.