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Unions of New York Times Employees Send Cease-and-Desist Letter Regarding Return to Office Requirement

Unions representing New York Times workers are demanding a renegotiation of the company’s remote work policies following the announcement of new tracking policies.

The New York Times Guild and the Times Tech Guild have both sent cease and desist letters to management objecting to the new policy that requires workers to return to the office three days a week and have their attendance tracked through badge swipes. These unions represent the majority of NYT employees.

The guild argues that there is no mention of tracking badge swipes in their contract, which was agreed upon in May. They are demanding a renegotiation of this aspect of the policy. The tech guild, which is still without a contract, claims that the policy violates their status quo and the agreed terms and conditions when the union was established last year. They also insist on renegotiating the policy.

The policy that the unions are objecting to involves tracking employees’ attendance through their badge swipes. Managers would have access to data from workers using their badges to enter the building and could flag those who haven’t met their attendance requirements.

These letters highlight the disconnect between management and workers, a common issue playing out in offices nationwide. Amazon recently faced controversy over badge swipe policies when workers raised concerns about invasion of privacy.

Despite stay-at-home orders being lifted, remote work remains popular among U.S. workers. Many employees, especially those working in offices, prefer a hybrid model, and businesses have been struggling to entice workers back to the office over the past year.

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