Labor unrest at NY Times as hundreds of tech workers seek to unionize

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A majority of the more than 650 tech workers at the New York Times want to unionize, according to the NewsGuild of New York, which said it will seek voluntary recognition as the bargaining agent.

Management received the request Tuesday morning and is studying the matter.

“Voluntary recognition is a significant decision,” the company said in a statement. “At the New York Times we have a long history of positive and productive relationships with unions, and we respect the right of all employees to decide whether or not joining a union is right for them. We will take time to review this request and discuss it soon with representatives of the NewsGuild.”

The NewsGuild already represents more than 1,300 newsroom employees and business side employees.

The new effort includes engineers, product managers, designers, quality assurance staffers and data analysts who build and maintain the digital products and systems for the Gray Lady.

“It’s long past time to bring democracy into our workplace and ensure all workers have a voice in our work and our working conditions,” said Kathy Zhang, a union organizer and senior manager of newsroom and product analytics.

In a statement the Guild said, “The company has indicated that it is interested in being a better more equitable place to work. We strongly welcome these steps forward and we want to cement this progress into a consistently applied, enforceable and transparent contract.”

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