NEW YORK: The Newspaper Guild of New York is involved in a labor contract dispute with the New York Times Co., and has set aside $1 million for a potential public campaign.
According to the union, The Times wants to increase the standard work week from 34.5 hours a week to 40.0 hours a week. If the campaign launches, O'Meara said, it would encompass social media, radio and print advertising, and direct mail.
"It's really at this point meant as a defensive measure," said Bill O'Meara, president of The Newspaper Guild, which represents more than 1,000 employees. "The Times gave us a pretty horrendous contract proposal and we set this money aside in the event they do something provocative toward us. We are starting some things going, but you're not going to see ads publicly or anything at this point. It's to basically to get the message out that The Times is endangering the cornerstone of the company by threatening to cut pay and benefits for the people who produce the newspaper and the website."
The New York Times Co, in a statement, said the company is looking "to give shape to a single, integrated, and more flexible contract with the Guild." The current agreement, which expires at the end of March, includes two separate contracts for print and digital. According to The Times, these contracts have not been touched since 2003.
"As we have done in negotiations with other unions at The Times, we are seeking a modern contract with the Guild that addresses the new realities of being a multimedia news organization, while sustaining the quality journalism that defines The Times," the statement read.