The New York Times Co.’s annual shareholder meeting today had some unexpected and uninvited guests — its own employees. Although they often have bylines on the machinations of Big Media, the New York Times editors and reporters weren’t covering today’s event — they were protesting it. According to the Newspaper Guild of New York, approximately 65 to 70 NY Times staffers formed “a silent gauntlet” in the lobby of the paper’s Manhattan building. They handed out leaflets with analysis by Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse bemoaning the lack of a contract since March 31, 2011, the pension plan freeze the company is requesting of its staff as well as the present state of negotiations between the Guild and the New York Times Co. Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and other Times executives walked right past the protesters on their way to the meeting. Outside on the street, behind a big poster with “Without Journalists and Staff, The Times is Just White Space” written on it, other staffers also handed out Guild material. On its website the Guild posted the heart of its complaint: “The Times wants to freeze the pension plan, under-fund the health plan, and offered 0%, 1%, and 1% for wage increases, while giving the CEO A $24 MILLION DOLLAR SEVERANCE PACKAGE.” Must have been awkward when everyone went back to the newsroom.
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