During two years of bargaining, The New York Times company has
slow-walked contract negotiations with unfair labor practices and
insignificant wage offers that severely underpay our staff. We,
members of the Wirecutter Union, are fed up. To win the fair
contract we deserve, we’re prepared to walk out during the Black
Friday shopping week.
Wirecutter continues to bring in record revenue for the Times,
which is sitting on over $1 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.
Choire Sicha, writing at New York Magazine, has the headline of the day, “
Many Wirecutter staff realized early on that their Times
colleagues weren’t as excited about their arrival, even as the
then-CEO extolled at sale time that Wirecutter “embodies the same
standards and values that are the pillars of our own newsroom.”
But Wirecutter was always treated as a second-class citizen,
isolated in its own Slack, its own offices, and its own reporting
structure under Perpich. It never joined the newsroom, and its
work was openly sneered at by some longtime staffers. Many Times
staffers don’t believe their work is journalism at all. The pay
scale, as well, is substantially different from Times salaries.
Even Times fellows, which are yearlong full-time jobs in the
newsroom designed to train emerging journalists, receive a
significantly higher salary than the starting rate for Wirecutter
The Times will take the money Wirecutter generates — remember, they now charge a subscription fee, on top of their original (and successful) monetization strategy of earning revenue through affiliate links for recommended products — but they do not treat Wirecutter staff as peers.
Fuck ’em, I say. Stay away from Wirecutter this weekend, and tell everyone in your family tomorrow to do the same. There are a zillion other places to find links to Black Friday deals.