NEW YORK Members of the New York Times Guild walked out of the newspaper's Manhattan offices Monday afternoon to protest stagnant negotiations regarding compensation and benefits.
Video news company Now This News tweeted that they witnessed more than 300 members of the Times staff "walking out" of the building. The entire event took about 10 minutes.
According to a memo sent to New York Times guild members on Monday posted on JimRomenesko.com, employees were asked to exit through the 40th street entrance of the Midtown Manhattan building, walk down the block and reenter at the 41st street entrance in order to signify their disapproval over the current talks. Stickers with a short statement written on them would be handed out to people who exited the building. Those who decided to stop by and get coffee during the walk out were asked to prominently display their sticker.
Supporters were also asked to sign a letter about the "untenable and destructive" demands of the company.
The previous New York Times Guild contract expired 18 months ago, and a new contract has yet to be put in place.
Earlier in February, about half of the Times newsroom gathered in front of the Page One conference room in protest over the negotiations, according to The Atlantic.
Negotiations between the Guild and the Times on major issues like wages, pension and healthcare were far from over as of Oct. 3, the Newspaper Guild of New York reported. Despite the fact that the Guild took off more than $3 million from the budget intended for company health care contributions at the meeting, Times negotiators only added .5 percent to the three 1-percent wage increases they had agreed to.
All other additional contributions to the health care fund, which is currently below industry standard, were nowhere near what the Guild was asking for. An addition $500,000 contribution to the Guild's Adjustable Pension Plan (APP) also did not meet the Guild's demands.
New York Guild president Bill O'Meara said "it's not enough to get us where we need to be" in a statement.
Three more back-to-back negotiating sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.