The New York Times employee union is fighting management over the closure of the sports bureau

Employees union The New York Times Filed a legal complaint against the company over its decision to dissolve the newspaper’s sports department and subcontract non-union employees to The Athletic, the subscription sports website times acquired last year. The complaint, filed Thursday, alleges that the company breached the basic tenets of the Times union’s collective bargaining agreement — one it only recently won after a bitter standoff. The Times Guild has jurisdiction over journalism jobs at The timesYet the company claims that it has the right to subcontract itself and have non-union workers do union work without the same job protections, wages and other benefits that we fought so hard to secure,” the union said in a statement, calling the company’s allegations “preposterous on their faces and an attempt to Shameless for union busting.” (Al times He declined to comment on the grievance Vanity Fair to last week note.)

The employee union is calling on the company to “cease and desist from further violations of the provisions of the agreement” and has called for “economic compensation” for any employees who incur losses (although the company has ensured that no employees have been laid off as a result of this decision and has stated that sports staff will be assigned to other offices in newsroom). The Times Guild is also seeking, among other things, “all correspondence, directions, memos and other written materials issued by the Company in connection with plans to subcontract certain work currently being performed by The Athletic’s Sports Office” and “in connection with the reassignment process”.

The Times Guild has sent a petition to management with more than 1,100 employee and alumni signatures “demanding this times Management stops violating our contract and respects union action” Nasher AG Sulzberger She accepted an invitation from the Sports Bureau staff to meet them directly, according to a source familiar with the situation. It’s not about trying to “get to him and make him see the folly of his ways,” one times The reporter told me, the more constant pursuit of answers missed the company’s public statements and other comments on the decision. “None of these things have some kind of explanation as to why they’re doing it. There’s a ‘us.'” Permissible To do so, “which rivals the syndicate of course in some parts of it, broad platitudes about sticking to sports or trying to give readers as solid coverage as ever.” Sulzberger, the reporter said, “is kind of the only person who can really answer why this is done; why is it done this way? Why is it good for times. “

times Employees have been demanding an explanation for the company’s decision to close the sports office since management abruptly reported the decision last week. Some employees say they don’t know how the newsroom will cover major sporting events in the future. says a longtime staff editor Tom Coffey. “Nobody explained to me how this would work after we disbanded the Athletic Department and started using material from The Athletic.” The Olympic Games in Paris next year are top of mind for Covey. the times“You take coverage of the Olympics very seriously,” says Coffey, “and I don’t know how that’s going to work out. I don’t think anyone has thought about that.”

As I reported recently, management called the sports staff to a meeting last Monday morning to announce the decision, but A.J times The news alert with the news went to the world before the executive editor Joe was He even said the words out loud in the room. Days later, what was supposed to be a routine all-corporate meeting became controversial when employees pressed for answers from management. Kahn admitted in an all-staff meeting that the “choreography” for the ad was not perfect. during the meeting, times Staff also asked about the difference in standards and editing processes between The Athletic and The Athletic timesIt is a matter of concern to some times employees. (Vice Wirecutter and sports publisher Cliff Levyex times A masthead member who is used to overseeing the Criteria times newsroom, he said that the “basic” standards and journalistic values ​​for athletes are the same as those for the times.)

The company has 20 days to respond to a grievance; If the company denies the grievance, the union can then file for arbitration. for every Washington PostFinally, the arbitrator can rule that times Sports coverage is syndicated, meaning that its sports coverage cannot be subcontracted to The Athletic and The Athletic times The newsroom will have to produce a dossier timessports coverage. Airtight stands with times, on the other hand, could set a troubling precedent for the newsroom. as one times “There is a real concern in the newsroom that if this is left standing, they can do this to any department,” the employee told me last week.

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