New York Times Tech Workers Vote to Form Labor Union
March 31, 2022
In early March 2022, tech workers at The New York Times Co overwhelmingly (404-88) voted to join The NewsGuild of New York. NewsGuild of New York, a labor union representing news professionals in New York City, added its newest members to a bargaining unit named Times Tech Guild. NewsGuild of New York represents other Times employees as well.
The Times Tech Guild, which represents nearly 600 software engineers, data analysts, product managers, designers, and other technology professionals at The Times, now has collective bargaining rights that allow them to negotiate a contract with the company. Because it is the biggest tech-worker labor union with bargaining rights in America, the path of the Times Tech Guild will be closely watched by other tech workers who are considering labor union membership or who are already labor union members.
The Times, although it felt the Times Tech Guild was not organized correctly because it included multiple job functions and managers, as well as supervisors who are not allowed to join labor unions, has stated that they look forward to negotiating a contract with the newly formed union.
Labor union membership for tech workers is a recent development, but it is one that is quickly gathering momentum. The driving force is reform: of the way companies do business, of how companies treat their employees, and of how companies behave as global citizens.
Tech workers at Google, Activision Blizzard, and Raven Software have already joined labor unions. Tech workers at Amazon, Tesla, and Apple are actively pursuing labor union membership.
The reaction from many tech companies is tepid, at best.
There are 800 Google employees in the Alphabet Workers Union, but the labor union’s membership is just a mere fraction of the more than 150,000 workers employed by the company. Alphabet Workers Union has no collective bargaining rights and is not recognized by Google.
The momentum of labor union organizing shows no signs of slowing, as Chipotle is added to the list of major companies with new unionization. A Lansing, Michigan location of the large burrito chain saw rumblings of collective action leading up to the filing in early July, followed by a successful vote in late August.