During two years of bargaining, The New York Times company has slow-walked contract negotiations with unfair labor practices and insignificant wage offers that severely underpay our staff. We, members of the Wirecutter Union, are fed up. To win the fair contract we deserve, we’re prepared to walk out during the Black Friday shopping week.
Wirecutter continues to bring in record revenue for the Times, which is sitting on over $1 billion in cash. Yet our members have seen next to no financial benefit from their vital contributions to this success. Times management has offered paltry guaranteed wage increases of only 0.5%, despite soaring inflation and cash flows.
That’s why over 90% of our members are prepared to walk out if a deal cannot be reached before Black Friday. Here’s why we’re fighting to secure a strong contract:
The past two years of bargaining have only reinforced what our unit is worth. Wirecutter contributes significantly to the Times’ hearty bottom line, and that figure is growing as we reach a much larger audience and increase our revenue with subscriptions. Our editorial staff deserves to see the fruits of their labor with minimum salaries and guaranteed annual increases that not only reflect the work that they do, but that also match pay at competing publications. If we don’t wrap up a fair contract now, we’ll continue to lose colleagues who feel undervalued, wrecking Wirecutter as a whole.— Nick Guy
I have been at Wirecutter for three years and am constantly blown away by the rigor and dedication each and every employee puts into their work. Being in bargaining for nearly two years has only made me stand firmer in my belief that we are worth more. I am ready to show up to the bargaining table and get this contract done, and am willing to fight for what we deserve. For the past year and a half of the pandemic, I have had to do my labor intensive job from my tiny apartment by myself when I normally would have a large studio and helping hands, yet I have continued to produce the same caliber of work that helps our content look cohesive, presentable, and eye catching. We continue to hear that we are part of the Times and our work and journalism is on the same caliber. To keep our standards high, it’s time our pay reflects that of our competitors and colleagues. We know what we’re worth.— Sarah Kobos
The money Wirecutter makes for the NY Times Company is just as green as the money that the NYT makes, or the money that NYT Cooking makes. Why should we be treated as a lower class of worker? This seems to conflict with NY Times Company’s stated ethical and management practices, and with sustainable business strategy because it makes us value our employment here less.— Brent Butterworth
The workers of Wirecutter are not known for doing things half-way. We’re the folks who walk hundreds of miles to test hiking boots, intentionally trudge through rainstorms to discover which umbrellas won’t break unexpectedly, and regularly make messes in our own living spaces so that we know which vacuums can best keep homes clean.
During the pandemic we’ve also made our own homes into makeshift photo studios, testing environments, shipping and receiving warehouses, and production suites, while continuing to create the incredibly valuable work that has significantly increased the Times’ substantial bottom line. We’ve spent years bargaining for a contract that recognizes the value Wirecutter’s workers provide. We have been at the table negotiating in good faith even as our lives were upended by a global pandemic and while we continued to produce the work that the Times has been profiting on. The workers of Wirecutter know what we are worth, and we will do whatever it takes to get a contract that accurately reflects our value. We do not do things half-way.— James Austin
A strong contract means not just a better life for me, but for the people who are most dear to me.— Arriana Vasquez
It’s simple: We are equally as valuable as our peers at the Times who rely on our work without qualification, and so should be paid precisely the same without qualification. It is unconscionable for the Times to tout our hard-earned successes, and to state that the very success of the company depends on the fruit of our work, yet to continue to pay us as an unequal partner.— Jon Chase
This incredibly talented group is made up of individuals who put so much heart and soul into everything they do for Wirecutter. Therefore, we need a contract that meets that dedication to bringing our absolute best to both Wirecutter and The New York Times.— Holly Gallo
Wirecutter has grown exponentially over the years, and our work has made the Times and its shareholders a lot of money—even more so throughout the pandemic. But the people doing the work haven’t seen that reflected in our paychecks. We’re paid a fraction compared to our colleagues in the newsroom and compared to our competitors, and our salary increases have not kept pace as the cost of rent and groceries have skyrocketed over the past two years. I stand in solidarity with my colleagues, and I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to win a fair contract.— Kimber Streams
Wirecutter makes the NY Times Company an enormous amount of money and Wirecutter articles are now featured on the home page of the NYT itself. That wages have been kept so low for so long at Wirecutter is an embarrassment. The NY Times Company has dragged bargaining with the Wirecutter Union out for two years, losing scores of talented workers to higher paying jobs, often at much smaller companies, in the meantime. It’s time for the NY Times Company to live up to the ethical standard they claim to work under and pay their workers a fair wage.— Lucas Vieira
DEI work can be as simple and powerful as investing in us. I’m disappointed that the Times has so far not made this basic, obvious connection between the Wirecutter Union’s demands and the company’s DEI goals.
I was excited to join Wirecutter as the Times announced a major DEI report and plan as central to its mission. The most powerful thing the Times and Wirecutter can do in the name of diversity and equity is to pay more and do away with NDAs. Luckily, the Times can afford to do this, and the people who make Wirecutter what it is deserve it. I’m proud to be part of the Times, and I expect the Times, as an employer and industry leader, to also LEAD the industry. To offer salaries that truly open the door for more people to apply and stay supported in life at Wirecutter—even with all the stuff that affects marginalized workers the most, including student and medical debt, care-giving responsibilities, and higher and higher rent in expensive cities.
I want to believe the company’s vision for diversity and equity is in good faith. That it can connect the dots between how it pays its staff, the diversity of its staff, and how we set new standards in journalism every day. Right now, Wirecutter and the Times have a huge opportunity to lead the industry into the future, with salaries and equitable policies. Honor our hard work and yours, and take that opportunity.— Katie Okamoto
My first job in New York media paid $52,000. Assistant editor at Esquire. In 2006. In 2021 dollars, it would have paid almost $71,000. The fact that this company feels it’s okay to pay its entry-level folks—who do a hell of a lot more than I did, and who have far more skills—sub-2006 wages is utterly shameful. Moreso in light of our massive growth and profitability, and especially in light of Wirecutter’s founding principle: to be an employee-first company. I will gladly walk out on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and any other time to bring them and everyone in the union a respectful salary. One that reflects our actual value, not the minimum it’s possible to pay for—to use management’s favorite, and correct, phrase—best-in-class journalism.— Tim Heffernan
A strong contract for me means peace of mind knowing that my coworkers and I are being compensated fairly, equitably and competitively.— Noemi Orsini
I’m willing to walk out during Cyber Week because I believe this event encapsulates the best work that Wirecutter has to offer – high-quality journalism that cuts through the bullshit, incomparable research and testing standards, and the best product recommendations out there. We are a part of the New York Times because of our high standards, and yet we are not paid even remotely on par with our NYT colleagues. A strong contract will ensure that Wirecutter staffers are paid a living wage so that we can continue to produce great work.— Lauren L’Amie
I stand with my Wirecutter colleagues, because we deserve fair compensation that attracts and nurtures world-class journalists.— Joel Santo Domingo
When I started at Wirecutter, I was thrilled to be working at such a respected institution. I thought my salary would be on par with other New York Times employees. I was devastated when I realized that was not the case. It is my right to be paid what I deserve, and I stand in solidarity with my colleagues in getting fair wages and benefits. We do the work, and we deserve the pay.— Christina Williams
At Wirecutter, we accept nothing less than the best. During this ongoing global pandemic, we have transformed our lives into individual testing environments in search of the best air purifier during the California wildfires, the best cloth and disposable face mask for kids returning to schools unvaccinated, the best things to help us all relax during these tumultuous times. As a result, the Times continues to profit from our high standards and quality work. We know our worth. We deserve nothing but the best.— Caira Blackwell
Wirecutter and The New York Times should be embarrassed by the way they have treated their staff during bargaining. After observing bargaining sessions in which our work is repeatedly put down and basic asks are scoffed at, I support our union to do whatever it takes so we can win our contract. Most importantly, I will do whatever it takes so our union can win salary increases. My colleagues and I struggle to meet basic needs on our salaries. We cannot afford decent housing, medical costs, or to pay off loans. The stories I hear from coworkers—who are among the smartest, kindest people I know, and who put so much of themselves into their jobs—are gut-wrenching. Personally, my low salary has affected my ability to save and pay for major life expenses, like surgery, car payments, and saving for retirement. Most notably, I cannot afford to rent an apartment in many major cities in the United States. Meanwhile, we hear that the company is thriving. The imbalance between company profits and worker salaries is not ok. It affects me everyday, and it affects how I show up to work. I do not feel valued. My colleagues and I do the work that keeps Wirecutter running, and keeps readers coming back to us for trusted advice. The unit does not comprise the entire company, that’s true. But we play a crucial role in Wirecutter’s success (and The New York Times’ success, too). The discrepancies in pay between union members and leaders at this company is not only unacceptable, it prevents Wirecutter from retaining and hiring talented, diverse voices. I will do whatever it takes to win a fair contract so this place can actually become a good place to work, where people feel like they are worthy.— Anna Perling
Paying fair and equitable wages—wages that truly account for the cost of living—is absolutely integral to Wirecutter’s success.— Justin Krajeski
I’m willing to fight for a fair contract because I want a better, fairer future for our team. I want people of any and all financial situations to be able to work at Wirecutter, and for all of us to be properly compensated for the incredible work we do for the team.— Nena Farrell
It’s disappointing that after covering a topic for 20 years and honing my expertise, I feel like I am having to prove my worth. Even more disappointing is hearing how some of my colleagues do not make a livable wage. This is the best place I have ever worked. That’s all because of the people I work beside each day. They are talented and committed to putting out a strong product. In my experience, that’s not easy to come by and I want those people to stick around as long as possible. I stand with my colleagues and will do what it takes to get a fair contract.— Rachel Cericola
We do NYT work. We deserve equal pay. Solidarity forever.— Kit Dillon
I stand with the Union because I believe that all my colleagues and I deserve to be paid a fair & equitable wage for all the hard work we do day after day to make Wirecutter the best product review site in the industry.— Elissa Sanci
Wirecutter employs some of the best people in the business—it’s what makes working here such a joy. My co-workers and I put in the effort to make Wirecutter the best product review site on the web, so I would like to see Wirecutter put in the effort to give us a fair contract.— Dorie Chevlen
I’m willing to do whatever it takes because we all deserve fair and livable wages. Our paychecks should match the cost of living. Our work has a big role in the business, and it would make a difference for one of the best media companies to help set the standard for the rest of media to follow.— Sri Rain Stewart
I’m ready to stand with my coworkers to gain the respect and pay we deserve for our hard work and talent.— Nikki Duong
I have worked far too many places with inadequate, opaque, and uneven pay (and treatment) across workers. I believe Wirecutter can and should do better.— Thorin Klosowski
I can’t wait for my colleagues get the support and resources they need so that Wirecutter can thrive for years to come.— Ellen Airhart
My colleagues and I are incredibly talented and deserve wages, benefits and workplace protections that are equitable to the award-winning and profitable work we produce. We tell our readers to never settle for subpar products and services. And I won’t settle for less than what we deserve from management either.— Kaitlyn Wells
Some of our hardest working staffers–the people who help keep our guides updated, who get the work published, who do so much behind the scenes to make Wirecutter great for its readers and for their coworkers–are also some of our lowest paid. Let’s get them the salaries they deserve to help make Wirecutter a great place to work for all of us.— Jackie Reeve
Wirecutter staffers put in countless hours of research and testing to make the very best product recommendations possible to readers. Everyone I have met here cares so deeply about what they do, and we all work just as hard as our colleagues in The New York Times newsroom—so why shouldn’t our pay reflect that? We deserve to be treated as equals.— Alexis Allston
I’m proud of the work and service we provide. But I shouldn’t have to live in subsidized housing and rely on grants to pay for my child’s healthcare while we’re bringing in millions for the company.— Thom Dunn
Because everyone at this company deserves a fair wage, especially in this economic climate. My fellow employees have been loyal to this company, throughout the Great Resignation, and deserve to be compensated as such. The living wage has changed and evolved throughout the years and companies should acknowledge this and adjust pay accordingly.— Andrew Rivera
Wirecutter readers have enormously high expectations in everything we do, and rightly so. We’ve earned that trust and expectation. It’s a weighty responsibility. We, as a staff, should be put in the best possible position to succeed with a fair contract. We know what we’re worth, and so do our readers.— Connor Grossman
I spend hours agonizing over spreadsheets, talking with experts, combing through dark corners of the internet, and putting products through their paces to give the best possible information to our readers. I want our employees’ salaries—and our journalistic integrity—to match those of our peers at the Times. A fair contract is the only way to ensure that Wirecutter is the best product-review service for readers as well as for its workers.— Sarah Witman
I’m willing to do whatever it takes because Wirecutter doesn’t work without the people who give put their expert knowledge into every guide, blog, and deal on the site. And if you want expert knowledge and experience, you better be willing to pay for it.— Dan Kim
I stand with the union because we all deserve a fair contract that respects the hard work we do to make Wirecutter one of the best sites on the Internet.— Phil Ryan
Because I’m sick of watching my talented colleagues quit just because they need a better paying job— Sarah Bogdan
I want to see Wirecutter and the New York Times set an example for media companies everywhere that journalists deserve to be paid what they’re worth–and deserve to work at a place they’re proud of no matter what their financial situation is.— Haley Perry
I’m tired of feeling like a budget pick.— Doug Mahoney
Wirecutter is the best product-recommendation site because our staff actually cares deeply about journalistic integrity and our readers. We deserve a contract that recognizes that dedication and attracts the high-caliber candidates needed for Wirecutter to continue to grow and flourish.— Joanne Chen
This is a very complex job done by brilliant, talented and dedicated people who deserve to be paid recognized for their incredible efforts the only way that matters: better pay.— Erin Marquis
I cut my teeth at prestige media companies where it was common knowledge that editorial salaries were paltry specifically because they could attract employees for whom money was no issue—that is, affluent and white. Low editorial salaries in our industry are a DEI issue, full stop. Our company priority states that we seek to strengthen our best-in-class journalism, but we can’t do that without best-in-class journalists. We are hemorrhaging ours, and not due to any kind of Great Resignation. The majority have left for better paying jobs. I took a significant pay cut for my role here because I believe in our mission, but the only reason I was able to do that is because I’m married with no kids. I felt disheartened during the interview process after being told there was absolutely no room for negotiation, something I’ve never experienced at any company I’ve worked for in the past decade. I still feel lucky to be here, but the company should also feel lucky to have us. I stand in solidarity with my colleagues who deserve a salary that rewards their work instead of providing the financial equivalent of a pat on the head. We will continue to lose great talent if we don’t become the industry leaders we claim to be, and I believe in Wirecutter enough to do whatever it takes to make this happen.— Joshua Lyon
My colleagues are the heart of Wirecutter. I support a fair contract that honors their contributions.— Signe Brewster
I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win a fair contract because I’ve been laid off multiple times the last 6 years working in media. New Yorker magazine laid me off, blaming the unionization as the reason, that I was just paying my dues. We all know that in itself is a myth.
The quality of our lives are directly correlated with stability and a steady income. We are still in a pandemic and management is disconnected from the fact that despite our record earnings, everything is okay. I’m willing to advocate for my fellow workers and until there is a contract, I will do everything in my power to support my union and the labor movement.
Enough is enough. Quit stalling and give us what we deserve. Without us, our bosses have nothing.— Hunter Boone
One of Wirecutter’s objectives this year is to build a stronger workplace for all employees. Finalizing a contract with fair and competitive wages that not only reflect the excellent work of our talented editorial staff but that also keep up with the industry is essential to delivering on this objective. Retaining and developing talent is paramount to Wirecutter’s success. We know what we’re worth, and we know where the company falls short of its values.
The New York Times Company publicly professes that they value excellence and “aim to set the standard in everything we do.” Our bargaining committee has presented data that shows the company does not set the industry standard with wages, but lags behind it. Wirecutter is a vital and profitable part of the company and we will not settle for less than the value of our work. If the company strives for and expects excellence, it must be for the entire company. We demand accountability to our stated company values. We demand a fair contract.— Jessie Mohkami
I know the union has my back for the long term, and I know I and my colleagues deserve to be paid not only what their work is worth, but in accordance with the profit it’s making the company.— Ben Keough
I stand with the union because Wirecutter is built off the knowledge and efforts of passionate people who pour their time and expertise into every inch of the site, and we deserve to be compensated fairly for our work.— Jordan Thomas
We are the lifeblood of Wirecutter. Right now, our raises don’t even cover cost of living, which means we’re effectively paying to work here. We’ve been leaking incredible talent and friends for too long, and a fair contract will go a long way towards raising morale, keeping coworkers from leaving, and providing a fair and equitable working environment.— Melanie Pinola
Because a New York Times employee shouldn’t need public assistance to make ends meet.— Arthur Gies
Because my fellow employees do incredible work that stands above the rest and deserve fair compensation for that work.— Chris Heinonen
Because it’s time for management to value and treat its workers fairly— Michael Murtaugh
I want to build a career here, and the Wirecutter Union was a big part of my decision to come to the company. I stand with my new colleagues because I believe a fair contract is the best way to ensure workers’ long-term success and happiness at Wirecutter.— Dave Gershgorn
I support the union in its fight for a fair, strong contract and stand with my colleagues: We all deserve competitive pay.— Ingrid Skjong
Wirecutter’s value comes from the excellence of its editorial staff. It’s time for management to show some respect for that, in line with the stated values of the New York Times Company, by agreeing to a fair contract.— Liam McCabe
I am standing with my fellow employees to make sure we are treated fairly.— Arianna Flores
I stand with the union because Wirecutter prides itself on its integrity when reporting so it should treat its staff with that same fairness and integrity.— Krista Lee