From The New York Times Guild and Wirecutter Union: We Stand with the Times Tech Guild
The Unit Councils of the New York Times Guild and the Wirecutter Union, which together represent nearly 1,400 employees, strongly condemn Meredith Kopit Levien and A.G. Sulzberger’s decision that the company will not voluntarily recognize the Times Tech Guild. We call on the company to reverse this decision and honor the votes our colleagues have already cast.
Management’s declaration that an N.L.R.B. election is the only “democratic” option is both false and insulting. Our colleagues have had thousands of internal conversations about the pros and cons of unionizing, and a majority has already voted in favor of doing so by signing union cards.
The company’s own editorial board, in “The Right to Organize,” has called for majority signup to be legally binding on employers; as the board astutely noted, employers prefer delaying tactics like forcing a vote because it gives them time to focus their ample resources on pressuring employees to rethink their decision. One of the most egregious ways companies pressure employees is through captive-audience meetings. Times management has held at least 5 since last Thursday.
Ms. Levien, president and chief executive of the company, told employees in her email last Thursday: “you will hear more from leadership about this issue ― including questions to consider and our perspectives.” There can be no free and fair election when managers, who have power over their employees, “share” their perspective in captive-audience meetings.
We are further appalled that the company is citing its work on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives as a reason to deny its staff the union they have already voted to form. The Times Tech Guild members have made it clear that D.E.I. is a cornerstone of their work; one catalyst for their decision to form a union is their desire to collectively advocate for and bargain over measures to improve D.E.I.
The existing Times Guild unit built a thorough and far-reaching cooperative D.E.I. program, which was presented to management last summer. When the company brushed off our plan for a many-pronged, quantifiable policy with accountability built in, we presented a sturdy platform of D.E.I. proposals in bargaining. The company so far has rejected all accountable, quantifiable and actionable provisions. The Wirecutter Union has been negotiating D.E.I. measures for a year, fighting for basic transparency that’s standard across the industry.
When Wirecutter formed a union two years ago, the company did the right thing and quickly recognized their unit. We strongly urge The New York Times to take the same approach here and promptly recognize the Times Tech Guild, in accordance with the clear and expressed wishes of a majority of its technology workers.
The Unit Council of the Times Guild
The Unit Council of Wirecutter Union
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