Journalists at the New York Times conducted a one-day strike Thursday as the NewsGuild took to the streets claiming its employee evaluations discriminate against minorities.
According to CNN, journalists at the Times are also demanding pay increases and a salary floor as part of its one-day strike, the first strike in more than four decades at the paper. Times staffers held a rally outside the newspaper‘s office in midtown Manhattan and members of the NewsGuild wore red in solidarity and held up signs. Speakers at the rally included author of the Times‘ 1619 project, Nikole Hannah-Jones.
“The goal is to show our company that we’re serious, that we deserve to be treated respectfully at the bargaining table,” Hannah-Jones told Fox News before she addressed the crowd.
“It’s really important for me to come and show solidarity, particularly with our lower-wage workers,” Hannah-Jones added. “We haven’t seen raises in two years and some of our members are really struggling to make ends meet to work here and live in the city. So, we want to show how serious we are about getting a fair contract.”
The Newsguild and the Times have been working on a new contract for almost two years while staffers at the paer have been working under the previous contract. NewsGuild New York President Susan DeCarava said rising tensions finally forced the staff to hold a walk-out, adding employee reviews discriminate against Black workers at the Times after data reporters evaluated the results of internal evaluations.
“It turns out that they are weighted against employees of color at the New York Times. For example, no Black employee at the New York Times has ever received the highest rating possible. Nikole Hannah-Jones is in our unit. Tell me how she is not doing that caliber type of work,” DeCarava told Fox News.
DeCarava added that discretionary pay increases at the paper are dependent on internal evaluations and as a result, Black staffers aren’t getting the increases they deserve. The union president said the NewsGuild is pushing for a more regulated system in which “everyone is guaranteed a raise” on an annual basis, but doesn’t feel the Times is bargaining sincerely.
In August, the Times reported a gain of more than 180,000 digital subscribers. This year alone, the paper has purchased The Athletic, a subscription-based sports website, and the game Wordle, which rose to popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.