Open Thread: Labor Unrest at the New York Times?

In what could become a major battle between several newspaper unions and the New York Times, according to the New York Post, the Communications Workers of America has already earmarked $350,000 to put towards the conflict that could arise.

The Newspaper Guild and the Mailers Union Local 6 have both been without contracts since March 31. Both of these unions sent letters in October to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the chairman and publisher of the Times, and Janet Robinson, then-president and CEO. The letters explained that given the Times' current financial situation, there is a very grim picture for the hundreds of employees that these unions represent at the Times, and also claim that the Times is backing down on previous lifetime job guarantees.

What do you think of labor unions coming back to bite the Times? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

The battle between the unions and the Times could drag on for a significant length of time, given the departure of former CEO Janet Robinson. From the New York Post:

[The Guild representative for the Times, Anthony] Napoli said he expects that the sudden departure of Robinson will only slow down the bargaining process, which has already been very drawn out. “We don’t know what is going to happen. She’s not at the table, but clearly the CEO will be very involved in whatever happens,” he said.

The question of who will get to be the new CEO of the Times Co. became a little murkier this week with the news that the 16-title regional newspaper group, controlled by Sulzberger’s influential first cousin, Michael Golden, is being sold off.

With nothing on Golden’s plate, one inside rumor to catch fire is that he is being positioned for the CEO job.

Not only is there a rift with the labor unions, but if Golden becomes CEO, there could be a rift in the family as to the direction of the Times. The previous failures associated with the paywall and turning around could call for an outsider to become CEO.

What do you think will be the future of the Times?

New York Times Major Newspapers Open Thread