NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Members of the New York Times guild staged a walkout Monday afternoon, protesting the state of contract negotiations with regard to compensation and benefits.
About 375 staffers walked out of the entrance to the newspaper’s headquarters on 40th Street in Midtown, then up Eighth Avenue to the entrance on 41st Street, where they re-entered the building, Media Bistro reported.
CBS News reported that a memo sent to guild members and posted on JimRomenesko.com said stickers with a short statement written on them would be handed to those who walked out.
Supporters were also asked to sign a letter detailing demands from the company they called “untenable and destructive,” CBS News reports.
The walkout lasted about 10 minutes, during which the crowd gathered on the sidewalk erupted in applause as just one remaining employee looked on from the empty newsroom, Now This News tweeted.
The previous guild contract expired 18 months ago, and the staff has been working without a contract since.
Negotiations on issues such as wages, pension and health care remained unresolved as of last week, according to the Newspaper Guild of New York. The guild is complaining that even though it took off $3 million from the budget intended for company health care contributions at a meeting last Wednesday, New York Times negotiators only added 0.5 percent to three 1-percent wage increases they agreed to implement, CBS News reported.
Other additional contributions to the health care fund were far behind what the guild wanted, and are considered below industry standards, CBS News reported. The guild is also dissatisfied with a $500,000 contribution to its adjustable pension plan, CBS News reported.
Negotiations are set to continue Tuesday, and will also be in progress Wednesday and Thursday, CBS News reported.