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What’s Wrong at the New York Times

Interesting take on the company, its dividend/profits and their connection to the current union negotiation for better wages:


  • Is there any inkling of an open-ended strike?
  • msf
    edited December 2022
    In the current negotiations, the NewsGuild is demanding a wage increase averaging 5.25 percent a year over four years.... According to the union, the Times’ latest wage offer comes to 2.875 per year...
    Meanwhile, the Times raised paper subscription rates 10% at the start of 2022, and will raise them another 12% at the start of 2023. That's more, cumulative, in just two years than the workers are asking for spread over a period of four years.

    I had been thinking about cutting back the number of days I get the paper in hardcopy. But after reading about how the Times values its employees, I'm thinking of skipping pay subscriptions altogether and taking the free digital subscription offered through my school.

    I appreciate the service that the Times provides, but it shouldn't be on the backs of its employees or its customers alone.
  • Why not both parties reduce their increases & make everyone happy ?
  • To me, the cost of living adjustment indexed to inflation or COLA described in the article makes the most sense. If the Times is worried that inflation won't last and they'll be promising too much, COLA would hedge their bets but also ensure that employees' wages keep up with prices everywhere else instead of being a wage reduction after inflation. From the article:
    Whatever pay increase the Times eventually agrees to, the NewsGuild is calling for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that would equal inflation, that would hold Guild members harmless against any increase in inflation. The Times has rejected that COLA proposal even though enlightened employers often agree to cost-of-living adjustments. Not only do such provisions protect employees from having their pay eroded by higher-than-expected inflation, but if inflation remains low, COLA provisions would help the employer’s bottom line by holding down any promised raises. I hope that Times management will see the light on this—and take the enlightened approach.

    It’s not as if the Times can’t afford to give newsroom employees a 22.7 percent raise over four years. That’s around ten percentage points above what the Times is offering, and with each percentage point translating into $1.5 million a year in raises, that would cost the Times $15 million annually. That represents just 10 percent of the $150 million stock buyback and a small fraction of the Times’ current $465 million in cash on hand.
  • So what's your guys point here, that because the company is profitable they have to potentially pay more to employees regardless of associate work performance? Last I checked nyt stock down by a third over the past year or so... doesn't mgmt have a responsibility to shareholders? I never have received a guarantee in wage increases at any job I've had. Are they not free to secure employment elsewhere if they are poorly paid? I would also argue that if you suggest cola adjustment you should also agree that pension payouts should be paid on rolling stock market performance up and down like the rest of the folks who pay taxes and have to do without guaranteed payments
  • This will never be a perfect world. But some semblance of equitable distribution is not an unreasonable expectation. That doesn't mean everyone gets the same. But at some point, it needs to be addressed:
    How much is too much?

    How can I justify my obscene wealth when there are starving refugees all around?

    How can I manage to live with myself when full-time workers can't even pay ordinary, expected monthly bills--- while I live in the lap of luxury?

    My skills and talents might be in demand, thus commanding a better salary than many others. But is limitless wealth a worthy goal? Are humans not supposed to operate at a fundamental level with a conscience?

    How much stuff can one own?
    How much shit do you need?????
  • How much shit do you need?????

    A lot less than what I have, for sure. Where did all this stuff come from?
  • edited December 2022
    I agree with Crash, but one thing I’d like to add, which should be self-evident on this board, is that a company’s stock performance is not the same as its performance as a business or its underlying profitability. I haven’t done a deep dive on the Times’ operations, but my impression is its stock is down sharply this year not because of operational disappointments but because it is a highly valued stock and stocks with higher valuations are underperforming as interest rates rise.

    The stock is highly valued because as a business the company has significantly outperformed its peers in recent years. That kind of performance would justify a pay raise for employees. In fact, just looking at the stock’s performance, it has completely trounced its peers in the flagging newspaper business and even the market overall in the past five years. So why fixate on 2022, a bad year for all stocks?

    Moreover, in an industry where intellectual capital, i.e., content is king, the creators of that content should be well compensated. That content has won the Times several Pullitzers recently.
  • edited December 2022
    .... Like Chris Hedges, now Rev. Chris Hedges, as of a few years ago. (Presbyterian Church-USA.) And then the Times dumped him because he didn't toe the line on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In my opinion, he and Matt Taibbi are two of the best.
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