Tech Workers at The New York Times Unionize with The NewsGuild of New York
New York — This morning, a majority of over 650 tech workers at The New York Times announced that they have formed a union and are seeking voluntary recognition from the company. More than 1,300 editorial and business staff at the Times are already represented by The NewsGuild of New York.
The Times Tech Guild covers engineers, product managers, project managers, designers, quality assurance staffers, and data scientists and analysts, who build and maintain the digital products and systems the Times relies on to deliver its journalism to millions of readers and subscribers daily. The group is organizing for pay equity among staff, enhanced diversity and inclusion, just cause protections, improved healthcare, and clearer paths for career growth.
While the media industry is highly unionized, the tech industry is less so. The Times Tech Guild is one of the largest tech unionization efforts underway, alongside efforts like the Alphabet Workers Union.
“I'm proud to stand with hundreds of my colleagues at the Times in asking for recognition of our union today,” said Nozlee Samadzadeh, Senior Software Engineer. “Every one of us is here because we believe in the mission of the New York Times. We can't wait to get to the bargaining table to collaborate with Times leadership on issues like pay equity, diversity, job security, and more, to make it an even better place to work.”
“I’m proud to stand united and strong with my exceptional colleagues as we fight for what all workers deserve: equity, transparency, and security in our workplace,” said Angie Kim, Associate Software Engineer. “By coming together as a union, we're proving that tech workers, too, can stand in solidarity with each other and create an environment where all of us have the opportunity to thrive.”
"Workers must have a voice in their workplace, and I believe that a union is the only durable and surefire way to make certain that we do,” said Goran Svorcan-Merola, Senior Software Engineer. “Today, we stand with our colleagues at the Times, our industry peers, and all workers who want to enact meaningful change in their workplace. We’re excited to get to work!”
“It's long past time to bring democracy into our workplace and ensure all workers have a voice in our work and our working conditions,” said Kathy Zhang, Senior Manager of Newsroom and Product Analytics. “I'm thrilled to be building this union with my coworkers.”
“The tech workers at the New York Times ensure reader access to the Times’ award-winning journalism,” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “Today we proudly welcome these workers into our union and hope that this effort inspires others in the tech industry to stand together to strengthen their workplaces and industry. We look forward to a swift recognition process from the company so that we can get to the table and bargain a collaborative contract.”
The mission statement from the Times Tech Guild:
The New York Times has been one of the most important institutions in American journalism for nearly 170 years. We are a group of employees who build its products, inclusive of engineering, data, design, product and project management. We believe that The Times will be a stronger force for seeking truth and helping people understand the world by improving its workplace culture for all of its staff. To better express and defend our rights as workers, we have chosen to organize with the NewsGuild of New York, which already represents our editorial colleagues.
We are responsible for building and maintaining software that powers The Times and makes its world-changing journalism accessible to readers. We bring our considerable experience to building publishing systems, ensuring site security and reliability, analyzing data, and designing best-in-class experiences for readers around the world. The products we are proud to build are key drivers to the company’s success.
The company has indicated that it is interested in being a better, more equitable place to work. We strongly welcome these steps forward and we want to cement this progress into a consistently applied, enforceable and transparent contract. As tech workers, we currently lack transparency around compensation, but we know that there are pay discrepancies among people on the same team with the same title. We are at-will employees, and have no legal protection from being fired without warning or explanation. Opaque promotion processes that change frequently without worker input make career growth frustrating and difficult, often driving talented staff to leave The Times to grow elsewhere. There are unevenly applied rules related to on-call expectations, which require workers to provide significant unpaid overtime hours. And though there is company-wide conversation about the importance of diversity, the product organization remains unrepresentative, and diversity and inclusion work often remains excluded from official career ladders. Without a union, we have no access to the data or bargaining rights we need to be able to meaningfully address these issues.
We work at The Times because we believe deeply in the mission of the company. We believe that protecting the working conditions of employees is critical to the continued success of the mission. Collective bargaining is our way to ensure that we will be able to build The Times’ world class digital products and platforms in a workplace that is more equitable, healthy, and just. We ask that management recognize the NewsGuild of New York as our bargaining representative and begin negotiating amicably and in good faith.
The Organizing Committee:
Minerva Archer, Romina Barrett, Ray Berger, Veronique Brossier, Mike Buzzetti, Andrew Canaday, Bon Champion, Matt Clawson, Kevin Cooper, A. Vicki Crosson, John Cruickshank, Shay Culpepper, Angelique De Castro, Sarah Duncan, Martha Edwards, Kika Gilbert, Guy Grigsby, Angela Guo, Benjamin Harnett, Kait Hoehne, Meghan Hurlburt, Yuchen Jin, Kentaro Kaji, Jennifer Kanjana, Angie Kim, Joseph Kohlmann, Ryan Lakritz, Katie Leavitt, Rachel Lederer, Daniel Lim, Moustafa Makboul, Deeksha Mehta, Shane Moore, Izza Nadeem, Dylan Nugent, Taylor Poulos, Jeff Registre, Michael Reifman, Manny Reynoso, Nozlee Samadzadeh, Sierra Saitta, Rory Sawyer, Christina Schnabel, AJ Schuster, Christopher Shea, Jeff Sisson, Joel Stillman, Olov Sundström, Goran Svorcan-Merola, Riley Sykes, Nathan Taylor, Jeremiah Via, Dick Ward, Paul Yorke, Kathy Zhang & Jimmy Zheng
ABOUT THE NEWSGUILD OF NEW YORK
The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 4,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, TIME, PEOPLE, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. The NewsGuild of New York advocates for journalists to have a voice in the newsroom, for press freedom, for inclusive and diverse workplaces, and for just cause, no exceptions, for all media professionals.
Share this story