The New York Times Company NYT is facing internal struggles between management and staff over stagnated wages.
The conflict escalated to the point that more than 1,300 unionized employees refused to return to the office after the paper announced the end of remote work in early September.
Journalists and tech workers have allegedly stated “a strong likelihood” that the conflict will lead up to a strike.
At their lowest point this week, shares had lost 14% of their value since the conflict became public on Sept. 12. The stock price recovered slightly at the time of this writing, closing the week at $28.80.
This still marks a big drop from an all-time high of $55 in mid-October 2021.
Employees have consistently argued against receiving extra “perks” like launch boxes as opposed to paying raises. Pay inequity between regular staff and high management has also become a major issue for NYT employees.
Represented by NewsGuild, Times staffers are currently demanding an 8% annual raise over four years, which, along with a cost-of-living adjustment, should amount to about a 40% increase.
Members of the union are currently receiving compensation under a contract from 2017, which expired in March 2021. Under this agreement, they would get annual salary increases of 2%. Unionized employees and company brass have failed to agree on a new contract since then.
On its most recent earnings call, the New York Times did not mention the internal conflict.
The company reported $76 million in adjusted operating profit, as well as an increase to shareholder dividends at the beginning of the year.
“We’re offering a 10% wage increase: 4% upon ratification of a new contract, and 3% increases both in 2023 and 2024,” said a Times spokesperson. This would be added to a “2.5% retroactive bonus to recognize the time in which employees have been working since the old contract expired in March 2021.”
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