Union workers at the New York Times’ product-review website Wirecutter have gone on strike ahead of the Black Friday shopping weekend over a stalemate in pay negotiations, the union said Thursday.
The union that represents the workforce said they’ve been locked in contract negotiations for two years, and the Times has not budged on “unfair labor practices” that underpay Wirecutter staff.
“Our staff works around the clock during the Black Friday shopping week, our busiest and most profitable time of year, putting in extra hours over the holiday to serve our readers,” the union said in a statement.
“Our labor continues to bring in record revenue for the Times and helped to grow Wirecutter by 10k subscribers in the past quarter,” it added.
The Wirecutter union is part of the News Guild of New York, which represents workers at several newsrooms in the city. They announced the strike in a 12 a.m. tweet Thursday and encouraged New York Times employees to not cross the “digital picket line.”
Staffers at the site are requesting a 2.5 percent annual wage increase and higher minimum salaries, the Wall Street Journal reported. Times’ management has agreed to a 1 percent annual raise and the possibility of merit-based raises, according to the report.
Nick Guy, the Wirecutter Union unit chair, told the Journal that they expect to go back to work after the busy shopping weekend.
“It’s not an indefinite strike so we’ll see how bargaining goes when we do return,” Guy told the Journal. “Hopefully we’ll be able to wrap this up in a way that is fair to our members.”
In a statement, a Times spokesperson said they are working with the union to reach an agreement.
“The New York Times has a long history of productive relationships with unions to advance our shared objectives,” said Danielle Rhoades Ha.
“We’re actively working with the Wirecutter Union to reach a collective bargaining agreement that continues to reward our employees for their work and contributions to The Times’s success, and we look forward to continuing those negotiations at the bargaining table in early December,” she added.
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