The New York Times Just Got Caught Union-Busting In Leaked Memos: NLRB Files Complaint

  • Slack messages and leaked internal documents now reveal that senior executives at the New York Times have been aggressively leaning on over 600 tech workers to vote “no” in an upcoming union election.
  • CEO Meredith Kopit Levien wrote a memo on January 19th entitled, “Why a Tech Union isn’t Right for Us” about the upcoming tech workers’ union election and took pains to emphasize, “But that’s not because I’m anti-union
  • The Slack messages from the exec were promptly flooded with negative emojis because only a select group of employees can post text in the staff-wide Slack channels. Dropping emojis has become the default method for workers to respond.
  • The National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against the Times on January 5th, ruling that the company had violated federal labor law by utilizing overly aggressive tactics.
  • The NewsGuild of New York has filed a complaint with the NLRB, accusing the Times of violating federal labor law by adding new paid holidays — but only for non-union employees.

Michael Sainato from The Guardian writes:

“Internal documents and Slack messages obtained by the Guardian reveal senior executives at the New York Times are heavily leaning on workers to vote “no”in a union election for more than 600 tech employees at the media company.

CEO of the New York Times Meredith Kopit Levien wrote a memo on 19 January circulated to staff titled “Why a Tech Union isn’t Right for Us” on the tech workers’ union election at XFun, the group within the New York Times responsible for product development operations.

“In short, we don’t believe unionizing in XFun is the right move. But that’s not because I’m anti-union,” said Kopit Levien.

In the memo, Kopit Levien went on to cite the origin of the XFun group and its growth, and attributed some disconnect workers might be feeling to working apart during the pandemic. She goes on to cite Wirecutter’s union as a warning sign for unionization.

Workers at Wirecutter walked out on Black Friday weekend in late November 2021 and called on the public to boycott the publication, alleging that the New York Times was bargaining in bad faith and in protest of unfair labor practices. Shortly after the walkout, an agreement was reached between the union and the Times management…”

See full story here.

Categories: Business, Economy, Labor, Politics, Society, Tech

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