The Times Tech Guild, Fed up with New York Times Intimidation Tactics, Walks Off the Job
The Times Tech Guild – the largest union of tech workers with collective bargaining rights in the country – walked out Monday afternoon in protest of the New York Times’ flagrant disregard for their rights as union members. Times management has continually attempted to coerce members to comply with its unlawful return-to-office policy.
The nearly 700-member union – which includes software engineers, data analysts, project managers, product managers, and designers at the New York Times – walked out at 1 p.m. and held a rally followed by an afternoon of picketing around The Times building. Some members wore their Halloween costumes, to not only mark the upcoming holiday but to demonstrate that they aren’t “scared” of Times management’s anti-union tactics.
The Tech Guild, which won its union election by a landslide in March 2022, is negotiating its first contract. The NewsGuild of New York, the labor union that represents the Tech Guild, filed an unfair labor practice charge in September 2022 about Times’ management’s edict to return to the office. In August, Region 2 of the National Labor Relations Board found merit to the charge and supported the Guild’s position – that return-to-office is a mandatory subject of bargaining.
Despite that, Times’ management continues to pressure Tech Guild workers to come into the office, including threats that failing to work in-person will impact performance evaluations that determine raises and bonuses. It’s one reason why the Tech Guild is fighting so hard for “just cause” in their contract as a fair standard that management must adhere to when disciplining or firing an employee.
“The Times is now not only refusing to recognize our rights to bargain on return to office but is now going a step further and using it as a tactic to intimidate us,” said Kathy Zhang, unit chair for the Tech Guild. “This afternoon's work stoppage is to send The Times' senior leadership a strong, unmistakable message: We will not stand by and allow you to trample on our rights.” Read more here!