Smart working, 1300 New York Times employees refuse to return to the office

About 1300 New York Times employees – refused to return to the office, threatening to strike if the company will not accept the union’s requests regarding it smart working and wage increases. “We will continue to produce high quality work, which wins awardsreminding the company that it cannot unilaterally change our working conditions “, reads the letter delivered by Times Guild (the workers union) at the top of the historic US newspaper and signed by the workers who say they will continue to work remotely this week, which should have been that of the return to the editorial office. In the union letter it is recalled that the return to the office “being one issue of safety and health at work it should be part of our negotiated contracts ”. In response, a Times spokesperson told The Hill newspaper that the newspaper “listened carefully to our colleagues to arrange a gradual and flexible return to the office that guarantees all employees time and space to adjust.” Workers include reporters and photographers, editors and marketing employees.

In addition, the newspaper this week offered employees that they accepted the plan of returning to the office for three days a week of the “lunch boxes” with free lunch. The move has further angered several employees, who have said on social media that this minimal benefit does not pay the costs of gasoline, transport and other expenses that, with prices soaring due to inflation, they would have to face for the return to the office.

Just the NYT in a report published last March – two years after the start of the Covid pandemic – had calculated how “the last two years have ushered in an unplanned experiment with a different way of working: about 50 million Americans have left their offices. Before the pandemic in 2019, around 4% of US employees worked exclusively from home; by May 2020, that figure had risen to 43%. Of course, this means that the majority of the workforce has continued to work in person for the past two years. But among white-collar workers before Covid only 6% worked exclusively from home, while in May 2020 it rose to 65% “and that previously” the only thing that hindered flexible working arrangements was the failure of the imagination. ”, To prefigure other paths and organizational methods. However, a “failure that was remedied in just three weeks in March 2020” in the midst of infections from Covid-19.

Thus, once the pandemic emergency ended, the theme of returning to the office was brought up again, it was also discovered that “there were a myriad of reasons why people preferred working from home, in addition to worries about Covid safety “such as, for example, being able to enjoy” the sunlight “, wearing” sweatpants, the quality of time with children or cats, more hours to read and run, space for hide the anguish of a poor day or year “. And so wrote the prestigious US newspaper: “Some of the companies that are now trying to recall their staff are facing a wave of resistance from workers, encouraged to question how things have always been, i.e., difficult for many people“.

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