New York Times Staffers Considering Byline Strike Over Contract
Hundreds of New York Times staffers are ready to participate in a byline strike in their latest demonstration over contract talks.
A memo from the Newspaper Guild of New York announced the development on Sunday. Grant Glickson, the unit chair for the union at the Times, wrote: “Over the last few days, hundreds of people from every department, including many of our best known journalists, have quietly signed pledges to withhold their bylines, photo credits, and producing credits. They have also pledged to work strictly to the terms of the contract.”
There was talk of a byline strike as early as last Tuesday. Glickson added that the blackout is not certain, writing, “We don’t know yet if we will have to go down this road, but it is vital that we be prepared.”
Union members also plan to gather in the lobby on Monday afternoon to welcome new CEO Mark Thompson and “acquaint him” with the labor dispute.
Below, read the full text of Glickson’s memo (via Romenesko):
From: email@example.com Date: October 21, 2012 4:59:47 PM EDT To: Subject: Mobilization Message: Get ready for next action tomorrow: Welcome New CEOColleagues,
One week into mediation, negotiators for the company continue to propose what amount to the most radical pay cuts for the New York Times staff in modern history.We will spare no effort to make these talks succeed. But we cannot avert our eyes from the blunt truth that we are on the brink of a crisis — for The Times, for us, and for the millions of people who depend on our coverage of the world. And it is a needless, pointless, corrosive crisis.
Those of us who have dedicated so much of our selves to the Times must speak and act now. A major negotiating session is scheduled for next Sunday.
Before then, there’s much to do.
Here are two ways for you to pitch in immediately.
The company’s new CEO, Mark Thompson, is expected to begin work Monday. Let’s get together in the lobby at 3:40 for a group picture. We want to welcome him — and acquaint him with the grave situation he has walked into.
Over the last few days, hundreds of people from every department, including many of our best known journalists, have quietly signed pledges to withhold their bylines, photo credits, and producing credits. They have also pledged to work strictly to the terms of the contract. We don’t know yet if we will have to go down this road, but it is vital that we be prepared. If you haven’t had a chance to sign up yet, ask around.
Make time Monday afternoon at 3:40 to gather in the lobby. More details Monday morning, but count on it being short and sweet. Well, not too sweet.
It’s important to know that mediation has made significant progress, but on the major, show-stopping issue, we’re still stuck. After 20 months of talks, company negotiators are repeating the same broken formula. In real dollars, they’re demanding pay cuts as far as the eye can see.
It is high time for them to believe us. We will accept nothing less than fair wages and benefits.
The Mobilization Committee
Originally posted October 22, 2012 at www.huffingtonpost.com.