- Staff at Wirecutter plan to strike from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday over a contract dispute.
- They’re demanding higher minimum salaries and annual raises from The New York Times’ management.
- The union is urging people not to shop through the product-review site over the holiday weekend.
Staff at the New York Times’ product-recommendation site have gone on strike ahead of some of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Unionized employees at Wirecutter said they plan to strike from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, a five-day period when millions of Americans spend billions of dollars on holiday shopping. It’s the site’s most profitable time of the year, a union organizer told The Wall Street Journal.
Wirecutter’s staff walked off the job amid a standoff with management about the terms of their contract, the union said in a Tuesday tweet. The Wirecutter Union, part of the NewsGuild of New York, is seeking a $US300,000 ($AU417,633) increase to minimum salaries for its 65-person unit, all of whom are participating in the strike. It also wants a boost to guaranteed annual raises.
Wirecutter’s strike is the latest in a string of walkouts and protests by workers at more than two dozen companies who are demanding everything from higher wages to safer working conditions.
—Wirecutter Union (@wirecutterunion) November 23, 2021
The union says The Times has “slow-walked” negotiations, which have dragged on for two years.
“Wirecutter continues to bring in record revenue for the Times, which is sitting on over $US1 ($AU1) billion in cash. Yet our members have seen next to no financial benefit from their vital contributions to this success. Times management has offered paltry guaranteed wage increases of only 0.5%, despite soaring inflation and cash flows,” the union said on its website.
The Times is working with the union to reach a deal, Danielle Rhoades Ha, the paper’s vice president of communications, told Insider in an email.
“The New York Times has a long history of productive relationships with unions to advance our shared objectives. We’re actively working with the Wirecutter Union to reach a collective bargaining agreement that continues to reward our employees for their work and contributions to The Times’s success, and we look forward to continuing those negotiations at the bargaining table in early December,” she said.
The Wirecutter Union is calling on the public to support the strike by not shopping through the site. Wirecutter makes money by taking a cut of each sale generated through links on its pages. It also recently introduced a paywall.
The Times is also facing ongoing labor disputes with groups of unionized reporters and tech workers.