The Daily Telegraph

New York Times staff refuse to come back to office

- By Lucy Burton

THE New York Times is facing a staff backlash over its return to the office push, with workers furious that they have been offered free branded lunch boxes instead of a pay rise.

More than 1,200 employees of The New York Times, represente­d by media union the Newsguild of New York, are rebelling against the newspaper this week by refusing to go in, echoing protests around the world as staff demand the right to continue remote working.

Andrea Zagata, a staff editor, wrote on Twitter that employees had been offered “cute” branded lunch boxes as a return-to-office perk, but said: “We want respect and a fair contract instead.

“Here’s the lunch box. It’s cute. But my colleagues and I don’t need cute trinkets. Three hundred and thirty of us wrote emails last month asking for real raises to combat inflation,” she wrote.

The clash comes weeks after Apple staff pushed back against an order to return to the office by arguing they can do “exceptiona­l work” remotely.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, had ordered employees located near the company’s California­n headquarte­rs to return to the office for three days a week.

Google also faced a staff backlash last year after it emerged that senior software engineer Urs Hölzle “decided to spend a year in New Zealand”, despite the decision to end 100pc remote working at the technology giant.

Similar protests are happening across Britain. Staff at City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority have told bosses that two days a week in the office is the most they can manage. Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokesman at The New York Times, told Bloomberg that the company had offered contractua­l increases of 10pc.

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