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NYT Staffers Walk Out: ‘We’re just looking for a fair contract’

This afternoon around 3:30, about 375 New York Times staffers walked out in an effort to protest management’s handling of contract negotiations. “We’re trying to save the essence of The New York Times,” said Metro columnist Michael Powell. Staffers wore stickers that read “Believe us.” and walked from the building’s 40th St. entrance, up Eighth Ave. to the entrance on 41st St.

The walk out was organized by the Newspaper Guild of New York ahead of further negotiations.

“It’s been almost two years of negotiating without any progress,” said union shop steward Bernard Delgado, “and meanwhile the newspaper is winning Pulitzers.”

Other union reps criticized the possibility of losing their pensions, salaries not keeping up with inflation and increased workloads.

Regarding the stalemate, Powell said, “It’s not in keeping with their historic practice, which is to value the people who put out their newspaper, from the secretaries to the photographers… It’s beneath them.”

More than 600 people have signed the open letter to publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., executive editor Jill Abramson and incoming CEO Mark Thompson. Negotiations are set to take place Tuesday morning at 10, according to a memo sent by the Guild.

“People work at sometimes great threat to their lives to put out this great newspaper,” said Powell, “and we’re hoping that management will be the equal of the people that work for it, give people an honest wage and preserve the benefits for which they fought so hard over the many years.”

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