The pandemic largely is over, and many of the millions of workers who worked from their family rooms or kitchens during that time are back in the office at least for part of their work weeks.
But more than 1,300 employees of the New York Times say they won’t do that. And their reason is inflation that has been allowed under Joe Biden’s economic policies.
It would mean they would have to spend more money on “gas, mass transit, clothing and lunches,” according to a report in the New York Post.
The situation is that the workers are negotiating new contracts, and the insistence by the company that they return to their offices for several days of the work week isn’t going well.
The Post report calls the dispute “bitter” and said 1,316 workers “had signed a pledge not to return to the office.”
That’s 879 News Guild members plus others from the Times Tech Guild and the Wirecutter.
Tom Coffey, a 25-year veteran editor, told the Post, “People are livid.”
The reaction came after the corporation told workers to return to the office this week. Coffey said forcing employees to be in the office during a period of high inflation will cost them too much.
Under Biden’s leadership, inflation was 9.1% earlier this summer, and 8.5% and 8.3% in July and August.
The Times, through a spokesman, said there isn’t a set number of days required for employees to be in the office, and it is up to individual departments.
But, he said, “We continue to believe that a hybrid work environment best suits the New York Times at this moment.”
The news workers contract expired in 2021, and most recently offered was a 4% raise. The workers are insisting on an 8% raise plus another 5% or so for inflation.
A Times official told The Post: “We respect the rights of our colleagues in the Guild to make their voices heard. We’re actively working with the NYT NewsGuild to reach a collective bargaining agreement that financially rewards our journalists for their contributions to the success of The Times, is fiscally responsible as the company remains in a growth mode, and continues to take into account the industry landscape.”
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