Newspaper Union Preparing to Fight for New York Times Employees

The Newspaper Guild of New York, a union that represents over 1,000 employees at the New York Times, is digging in its heels at cuts that have been proposed by the paper’s management.

A few days ago the union was given a contract proposal that they felt was completely unfair, so it has committed $1 million to rally public support for its members. The proposals asked the employees to accept wage cuts, health care fee increases and more.

Bill O’Meara, the Guild’s President, said that if they agreed to the paper’s demands, it would become a shell of its former self.

“The Times management’s contract proposals, as they stand now, would ruin the paper. They undermine the spirit and unique commitment of the many people who produce the Times and they will accelerate the brain drain that has already resulted in the departure of many talented journalists for better opportunities. Management is leading us to a future where the Times will be more of a content farm than a place for great journalism.”

If the Guild is already dropping phrases like “brain drain” and “content farm,” you know they mean business. But you also know that the Times means business – mainly because of a lack of business. It’s hemorrhaging money, but if the paper wants to keep its top tier talent, its going to have to pay.

The union members’ current contract expires on March 30th. We’ll see who blinks first.

UPDATE: Check here for the Times‘ response to the Guild.