Tech workers for the New York Times have formed a union with the NewsGuild of New York. The group is demanding voluntary recognition from New York Times management. The union goes by the name Tech Times Guild and represents over 650 workers from the digital side of New York Times, including data analysts, designers, and engineers.
Tech employees aren’t considered part of the editorial union for the New York Times, which represents some 3,000 reporters and media professionals working at the company. This union is also recognized by the NewsGuild. The editorial union has continued to exclude tech employees even as the Times expanded its digital offerings. The exclusion was the reason for the new Tech worker guild aiming for a separate bargaining unit. This means the Tech Times Guild would negotiate with management separate from the editorial union.
“As of now, we face a number of challenges,” the Tech Times Guild said in a statement on Twitter, “including sudden or unexplained termination, opaque promotion processes, unpaid overtime, and underinvestment in diverse representation. Without a union, we lack the data or bargaining rights to address these issues.”
The New York Times ahs yet to formally respond to the request for recognition. When approached for comment, a representative said the company was still considered how to respond. The New York Times says that voluntary recognition is a significant decision. The company has faced many questions from colleagues, including questions over who would be in the union, who would represent them, and what it would mean for the company as a whole.
The new guild sits between the tech world and the media industry. While there has been plenty of labor organization in media, efforts to form tech unions continue to fall through. An effort to unionize at Medium fell through by just one vote and led to a company restructuring.