‘Picket Line!’: NYT’s In-House Critic Calls For Everyone To Stop Reading The NYT

(Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Font Size:

More than a thousand New York Times union staffers are preparing to strike Thursday over a disagreement on wages with some staffers asking readers to stand in solidarity with the picketers by not engaging with the publication.

“We’re asking readers to not engage in any @nytimes platforms tomorrow and stand with us on the digital picket line! Read local news. Listen to public radio. Make something from a cookbook. Break your Wordle streak,” Amanda Hess, critic-at-large for the publication, tweeted.

The planned walkout comes as the Times and the NewsGuild, a union representing staffers, failed to come to an agreement on multiple issues, including wages, CNN reported. NewsGuild representatives claim the Times has “frequently misrepresented its own proposals” while the publication argues it has offered “significant increases” to no avail since March 2021, when the last contract expired, according to the outlet.

In a statement shared Wednesday the New York Times Guild announced their official decision to walk out Thursday citing the Times’ “failure to bargain in good faith, reach a fair contract agreement with the workers and meet their demands.”

Danielle Rhoades Ha, a New York Times spokesperson, claimed that the announcement came while negotiations were still ongoing. “It is disappointing that they are taking such an extreme action when we are not at an impasse,” she said, according to the Associated Press.

The strike, a first since the 1970s, is set to go into effect at midnight on Thursday and last for an entire 24 hours with employees set to picket outside The New York Times’ offices at 1 p.m., according to CNN.

In a memo to NYT employees, Human Resources chief Jacqueline Welch told staffers that those planning to picket would not be paid “for the duration of the strike” nor could they use vacation or personal days to supplement the wage loss unless they had received prior approval, CNN reported. (RELATED: Liberal NYC Arts School Will Withhold Wages From Striking Workers)

Though many of the union members handle breaking news for the publication, Rhoades Ha said the Times has “solid plans in place” to continue reporting throughout the strike by “relying on international reporters and other journalists who are not union members,” she told the AP.