New York Times Union Files Grievance Over Management Leak Investigation

The New York Times Guild filed a grievance on Tuesday against management, claiming it “violated” the union contract when it “harassed members and discriminated against them” amid an internal investigation.

The Times launched a leak investigation last week after The Intercept published a report that the paper shelved an episode of “The Daily” podcast about sexual violence committed by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023. Per The Intercept, information about freelancers who worked on the original reporting allegedly stirred controversy at the publication.

The guild fired back at the internal investigation on Friday, distributing an email to its membership condemning “management’s targeted interrogation of members of the Middle Eastern North African (MENA) Employee Resource Group.” However, on Saturday, Times management denied the allegations of discrimination, saying, “The inquiry is focused narrowly on how internal materials were shared with outsiders.”

“This is not true,” the guild said in a new statement.

The grievance filed on behalf of the union on Tuesday cites Times Management’s “aggressive” interrogation strategies of its own staff, with members facing “extensive questions about their involvement in MENA ERG events and discussions, and about their views of the Times’ Middle East coverage.”

According to the guild, “Group leaders were asked to turn over the group’s membership list, as well as the names of all New York Times colleagues who had ‘raised concerns’ — in private discussions — about a published New York Times article.”

Some union members were also asked to hand over personal communications with other employees regarding workplace concerns, which the union argues “had nothing to do with the internal materials specific to ‘The Daily’ that are the stated focus of this inquiry.”

“We cannot allow the company to target our members, and this grievance is a first step toward protecting them,” Times Guild unit chair Bill Baker said in a statement. “This investigation has been incredibly damaging, creating an environment where no one feels safe to raise internal concerns, even through the designated channels for doing so. For us as a union, we can’t let that stand.”

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