Nikolas Lanum and Brian Flood, Fox News, December 9, 2022
New York Times employees conducted a one-day strike Thursday as the NewsGuild refused to work, claiming employee evaluations discriminate against minorities and demanding pay increases and a salary floor.
A massive rally took place directly outside the 40th Street entrance of the Times’ midtown Manhattan headquarters. Guild members wore red in solidarity, held up “New York Times Walks Out” signs and Scabby, the giant inflatable rat synonymous with union drama, was on hand. The fiery crowd of disgruntled Times employees heard directly from union leaders such as “1619 Project” architect Nikole Hannah-Jones and NewsGuild chief Susan DeCarava after 20 months of tension over failed negotiations finally forced a walk-out.
Hannah-Jones, arguably the paper’s most recognizable and outspoken staffer, said morale is low at the Gray Lady after 20 months of failed negotiations, as rank-and-file staffers want the paper to thrive but don’t feel appreciated.
DeCarava, the president of the NewsGuild of New York, believes Times’ employee reviews discriminate against Black workers after the paper’s data reporters examined the results of internal evaluations.
“It turns out that they are weighted against employees of color at the New York Times. For example, no Black employee at the New York Times has ever received the highest rating possible. Nikole Hannah-Jones is in our unit. Tell me how she is not doing that caliber type of work,” DeCarava told Fox News Digital after the rally with chants still echoing in the background.
“We have multiple people every day who do fantastic work, who deliver the news for the Times and don’t get recognized for it,” DeCarava continued. “It’s about respect, it’s also about compensation.”
DeCarava said discretionary pay increases are dependent on internal evaluations, and therefore Black staffers aren’t getting raises they feel are deserved.
“It’s a double whammy, right? What is your reputation within the newsroom, how are you regarded by supervisors, editors, by your peers, and how are you compensated for it,” DeCarava said. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re fighting so hard to have a compensation system that recognizes two years without pay [increases] but that also takes much of the discretion of the hands of a biased system.”
DeCarava, who is pushing for a more “regulated” system in which “everyone is guaranteed a raise” on an annual basis, doesn’t feel the paper is bargaining sincerely.
“I do not,” she said when asked if she believed Times management was operating in good faith.