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Staff of The New York Times Returns to Office Following Demonstration

With the decline of COVID-19 cases over the past year and the lifting of safety regulations, many businesses across the United States, particularly prominent ones, have initiated a requirement for employees to come back to work in person. These firms view in-person work as a crucial aspect of their operational activities, with many formally implementing what is known as the return-to-office, or “RTO,” directive.

Among these organizations is the newspaper The New York Times, although its employees are not willing to adhere to the mandate. According to a report from Bloomberg, more than 1,200 journalists and technology professionals represented by the NewsGuild of New York have rejected the RTO order, choosing to continue working remotely instead. For these staff members, remote work has enhanced their efficiency while also enabling them to establish stronger connections with and ensure the safety of their families.

“Health and safety regulations are a component of contract discussions and must be negotiated,” stated Carrie Price, a software engineer at The Times, to Bloomberg. “Having the ability to assess our personal risk is crucial for our group… Surrendering that capacity to control my own safety and that of my loved ones is something we object to and has not been part of any negotiations.”

The RTO guideline has become the latest area of contention for NYT employees, who have not witnessed any recent increase in salaries and benefits despite the publication’s recent success. The protesting employees are holding out for an updated agreement that would better cater to their needs in the face of a rising cost of living.

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