Union workers at the New York Times’ product review site Wirecutter have gone on strike ahead of the Black Friday shopping weekend over a stalemate in wage negotiations, the union said Thursday.
The union, which represents the workforce, said they have been locked in contract negotiations for two years and the Times has not been shaken by “unfair work practices” that underpay Wirecutter staff.
“Our staff work around the clock during Black Friday shopping week, our busiest and most profitable time of the year, and put in extra hours during the holidays to serve our readers,” the union said in a statement.
“Our work continues to bring in record revenue for the Times and helped grow Wirecutter by 10,000 subscribers in the most recent quarter,” it added.
The Wirecutter union is part of the News Guild of New York, which represents workers at several newsrooms in the city. The announced the strike in a tweet at 12 noon Thursday, urging New York Times staff not to cross the “digital strike line.”
On-site employees are requesting an annual wage increase of 2.5 percent and higher minimum wage, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Times’ management has agreed to an annual increase of 1 percent and the possibility of merit-based increases, according to the report.
Nick Guy, chairman of the Wirecutter Union unit, told the Journal that they expect to return to work after the busy shopping weekend.
“It’s not an indefinite strike, so we’ll see how the negotiations go when we return,” Guy told the Journal. “Hopefully we will be able to end this in a way that is fair to our members.”
In a statement, a spokesman for the Times said they were working with the union to reach an agreement.
“The New York Times has a long history of productive relations with unions to advance our common goals,” said Danielle Rhoades Ha.
“We are actively working with the Wirecutter Union to reach a collective agreement that continues to reward our employees for their work and contribution to The Times’ success, and we look forward to continuing these negotiations at the negotiating table at the beginning of December, “she added.