Wirecutter Union Strikes ‘Historic’ Deal With NY Times

·2-min read
REUTERS
REUTERS

After two years at the bargaining table with New York Times management, unionized staffers at product review site Wirecutter struck a collective bargaining agreement Monday evening.

“The union won immediate average wage increases of approximately $5,000, with the lowest-paid members receiving immediate 18% raises,” a press release said, calling the contract a “major milestone.”

Furthermore, the Wirecutter union won the elimination of non-disclosure agreements “that reference harassment or discrimination.”

NY Times Tries to Recruit Scabs to Cover for Wirecutter’s Black Friday Strike

The agreement comes on the heels of the union mounting a multi-day Thanksgiving holiday strike during the site’s most profitable time of year, leaving the paper’s higher-ups scrambling to enlist scab labor to cover for the Black Friday weekend shifts. (A New York Times spokesperson at the time claimed to The Daily Beast that the use of scab labor was not being employed. “All of the casual employees were scheduled to work during this period before the strike was announced,” the spokesperson wrote.)

With contract battles behind them, the union believes the deal is the result of its members’ persistent solidarity.

“I am so proud of what we as a union have accomplished. We have not only raised the bar for our members but for the industry as a whole. Media can be a tumultuous environment, but we love what we do, so we organize to make it better,” Sarah Kobos, a Wirecutter senior photo editor, told The Daily Beast.

“This contract came to fruition because every single one of us held the line on what we deserve,” Kobos added.

NewsGuild, the labor organization representing the Wirecutter union, as well as staffers at BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast, echoed the sentiment.

“Our members at Wirecutter love what they do, and now they will be fairly paid for their work. This contract is a testament to the collective power they’ve built and serves as an example of what can be accomplished when workers band together and demand their worth,” Susan DeCarava, NewsGuild of New York president, said. “We look forward to a productive relationship with Wirecutter management in the future.”

In early December, the Wirecutter union filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over what the guild says was management withholding holiday pay in “retaliation for striking.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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