Reuters Journalists Walk Off the Job
Nearly 300 journalists at Reuters, the global news agency, walked off the job yesterday for 24 hours in protest of management’s slow-walking contract renewal negotiations, the first major labor action by journalists at the company in more than 30 years. Reuters journalists, photographers, videographers, copy editors, producers and technicians are represented by The NewsGuild of New York. Here in NYC, journalists picketed outside the Reuters News U.S. headquarters in Times Square.
Journalists walked out to protest management's offer of a guaranteed annual wage increase of only 1%, which would effectively mean a pay cut given the soaring cost of living. The company’s profits are at record highs: since the end of 2017, the company’s cash from operating activities has totaled about $6.3 billion and its dividend has risen by nearly 29%. Yet management’s latest offer, in addition to the 1% guaranteed wage increase, also includes zero retroactive pay for the nearly two and a half years since its last general wage increase in March 2020. The miserly pay offer is particularly hard to swallow for journalists who have found themselves in the line of fire like never before in recent years, be it reporting on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, or extreme climate events.
Meanwhile, the company's majority owner and billionaire chairperson, David Thomson, the 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet, is one of the world's richest people and an avid art collector. His family's wealth has increased by more than $17 billion since journalists last received a general wage increase in March 2020. Read more here and follow the NewsGuild of NY and Reuters Guild on Twitter.