New York Times workers strike as negotiations fall through

Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss the New York Times strike on Thursday.

Video Transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Meanwhile, workers at the New York Times on strike today, as talks between a worker's union and the paper fall through. The New York Times Guild says management has not bargained in good faith, while the Times said the strike action was drastic and disappointing, this according to the Washington Post. Now the walkout comes as the New York Times continues to weather the economic environment in better condition than some of its media peers, for instance, buying the popular crossword game, Wordle, earlier this year.

Now the strike is set to begin at 1:00 PM Eastern and will last for 24 hours. And Akiko, at the center of this, it's really salaries that are at the center of it, but also things like retirement benefits, return to work benefits, and also some allegations of discrimination when it came to how employees were actually assessed as well, predominantly against Black and Hispanic workers. But I mean, this is a strike that we've not-- the sort of strike that we've not seen in decades.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, you're certainly right about that since the 1970s. So we're talking about the first worker stoppage since five decades, roughly. And we're talking about 1,400 employees that are represented by the union. We're talking about reporters at the New York Times, comment moderators, and security guards I mean, there's certainly a lot of people represented here. And to your point, it is really at the core of it about pay.

And I want to read through some numbers here that shows you just how far apart these two sides are right now. The Times has, according to the New York Times, offered union members a 5 and 1/2% raise, and then subsequently, a 3% raise in 2023 and 2024. What the union is now asking for is a 10% raise. So we're talking almost double what has been put on the table here, and then following that, a 5 and 1/2% raise in 2023 and 2024.

And, you know, Rachelle, it's worth kind of pulling back and looking at the media environment right now. Sure, we just pointed out the fact that the New York Times has been largely profitable. And that's been the argument on the union side to say, look, you're making money, and that should trickle down to us.

But at the same time, we have seen ads pull back in a significant way. You think back to last week, significant layoffs happening across the media landscape, including at CNN. So it's a tough environment on both ends. But it's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out, just given how long it's been since we've seen this kind of worker stoppage.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And when we look at some of the words in the statement from the unions, they said that the wage proposal still fails to meet the economic moment, lagging far behind both inflation and the average rate of wage gains in the US. As you mentioned there, still very far apart in terms of what they're expecting in terms of wages, but when you look at inflation, when you look at what we're seeing with wage growth, it seems like they're pretty far apart on this.

Not sure how this is going to pan out, but this is a 24-hour strike, so we'll have to see what comes of that. After that, it's been 40 bargaining sessions to get to this point and still at an impasse. So it's the end of the year. We'll see what happens in the new year, but at least for now, the strike for 24 hours.