A labor union that represents New York Times journalists and employees issued a report on Tuesday that claims the media giant is guilty of systemic racism and favors its white workers above others.
The NewsGuild of New York represents workers in multiple media outlets in New York City and is part of the national NewsGuild, which is the largest national union for news industry workers. The group’s “Racial Disparities in Performance Evaluations at The New York Times” report says the paper has engaged in improper racial discrimination for many years.
— Tim Meads (@TimMeadsUSA) August 24, 2022
The report alleges that no black employees received a top performance review rating in all of 2020 as white employees received 90% of the top performance marks. It adds that although black employees only make up 10% of the union’s membership, that group made up almost 18% of the sub-par “partially meets expectations” ratings.
The report claims that black union members believe they were not fairly rated by the company’s review process, leaving them feeling “demoralized and alienated.” It adds that the paper’s management has “denied the discrepancies in the performance ratings for nearly two years, time it could have instead spent trying to make the system better for everyone.”
The union claims that the poor performance ratings lead to fewer promotions and smaller bonuses. Minority members told the union that the review process used by the company is “confusing and frustrating.”
While the Times has aggressively hired and promoted a younger and more openly leftist workforce as part of its cultural ethos, that has led to generational feuds in the organization. Younger workers appear to be growing more aggressive in demanding higher pay, more relaxed working conditions, and more attention to a diversity and inclusion agenda.
The union also criticized management’s decision to hire the Seyfarth Shaw law firm to review its diversity practices for evidence of improper discrimination. The union said that firm has suffered negative attention from representing the Weinstein Company regarding multiple claims of sexual misconduct.
The law firm’s analysis found that there was no evidence of systemic racism at the Times. The union claimed the study was flawed and was biased against making any negative findings.
The union’s report also found that the fact that “our recently hired Black and brown colleagues are disproportionately receiving low-performance ratings” indicates that the Times is not doing its part to make its “workplace a welcoming and nurturing environment for all employees.”
The tension present inside the Times is becoming more common in mainstream leftist media outlets, as allegations of racial discrimination proliferate despite corporate policies promoting reporting of alleged racial discrimination in other organizations.