The New York Times staffers’ walkout on Monday certainly got the attention of the company, but the response was certainly underwhelming to union members. According to the Newspaper Guild of New York, Times management walked out of negotiations yesterday after only 10 minutes and then cancelled today’s contract talks. The company added that a “final offer” was coming tomorrow.
“This means management will try to ratchet up the pressure by taking a step that, conceivably, could take us to the brink of impasse,” read a statement from the union. “For now, however, a so called ‘final offer’ is just another reckless step that is much in keeping with management’s sorry track record during this negotiation.”
During negotiations on Tuesday, the Guild asked why members were offered zero raises in 2011 and a one percent bump for the final months of this year. Bernard Plum, the lawyer representing the Times Company, allegedly responded, “This is a declining industry and a declining business,” and that it was common for management to ask staffers to make sacrifices, and “even more common to have zeros.”
The Guild’s mobilizing committee met last night and will be reaching out to members soon.