New York Times Tells Tech Workers to Put Union Effort to a Vote

The New York Times Company said on Thursday that it would not voluntarily recognize a newly formed union of tech and digital employees, instructing the group to put the matter to a formal vote through the National Labor Relations Board.

The Times Tech Guild, a group affiliated with the NewsGuild of New York, had asked the company for recognition on April 13, when it announced that a majority of tech workers had formed a union. The group includes software engineers, data analysts, designers and product managers.

In an email to staff on Thursday, the Times chief executive, Meredith Kopit Levien, wrote that, since the union was formed, “we have heard questions and concerns from many of our colleagues about what this would really mean for their careers.”

“As a result, this morning, we advised the NewsGuild that we believe the right next step is a democratic process that surfaces all the facts, answers questions from employees and managers, and then lets employees decide via an election,” the note continued.

voluntarily recognized the Wirecutter union in 2019.

If an employer does not voluntarily recognize a union, the National Labor Relations Board may hold an election. If a majority votes in favor, the union can start negotiations with management.

A Times spokeswoman said in a statement that the company had a long history of productive relationships with unions and with nonunion employees.

the latest to join the wave.

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Insider Journalists Form a Union

Journalists at Insider, the news site formerly called Business Insider, said on Monday that they had formed a union, joining a wave that has swept digital media companies.

A majority of more than 300 editorial workers, a group that includes reporters, editors and video journalists, voted in support, union representatives said.

Insider, which changed its name this year, was co-founded by Henry Blodget in 2007 as a business-focused publication with an emphasis on the tech industry. In recent years, it has expanded its areas of coverage.

Axel Springer, a digital publishing company based in Berlin, paid $343 million for a 97 percent stake in the company in 2015 and bought the remaining 3 percent in 2018. Mr. Blodget stayed on as chief executive. Insider, which has grown during the pandemic, bumped up the minimum annual salary for staff members to $60,000 in February.

formed a union.

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New York Times tech workers form a union.

Tech workers at The New York Times announced on Tuesday that they had formed a union and would ask the company to recognize it.

The group, a majority of which signed cards in support of the effort, of more than 650 employees includes software engineers, designers, data analysts and product managers. It will be represented by the NewsGuild of New York. NewsGuild membership already includes more than 1,300 newsroom workers and business staff members at The Times, as well as workers at other media outlets.

As part of the Times Tech Guild, the tech workers would be in a separate bargaining unit from other Times employees represented by the NewsGuild.

In recent years, The Times has ramped up its hiring of tech workers as part of its strategy to reach 10 million paid digital subscribers by 2025. In 2020, digital-only subscriptions neared seven million and became the company’s largest revenue stream.

formed a union, a rarity in Silicon Valley. An organizing drive at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama was voted down last week.

Media companies have had a surge in such efforts. Workers at publications like BuzzFeed News, Vice, The New Yorker, Slate and Vox Media have all formed unions in recent years.

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New Yorker, Pitchfork and Ars Technica unions authorize strike.

Union workers at The New Yorker, Pitchfork and Ars Technica said Friday they had voted to authorize a strike as tensions over contract negotiations with Condé Nast, the owner of the publications, continued to escalate.

In a joint statement, the unions for the three publications said the vote, which received 98 percent support from members, meant workers would be ready to walk off the job if talks over collective bargaining agreements continued to devolve. At The New Yorker, the unionized staff includes fact checkers and web producers but not staff writers, while most editors and writers at Pitchfork and Ars Technica are members.

The unions, which are affiliated with the NewsGuild of New York, which also represents employees at The New York Times, have been separately working toward first-time contracts with Condé Nast. In the case of The New Yorker Union, negotiations have dragged out for more than two years.

The core of their demands, the unions said, were fair contracts that included wage minimums in line with industry standards, clear paths for professional development, concrete commitments to diversity and inclusion, and work-life balance. They said in the statement that Condé Nast had “not negotiated in good faith.”

stopped work for a day in protest over pay. Last year, two high-profile speakers at The New Yorker Festival — Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — vowed not to cross a picket line in solidarity with unionized workers.

The NewsGuild of New York said it would hold a rally for fair contracts on Saturday at Condé Nast’s offices in downtown Manhattan.

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