Journalists at The New York Daily News walked off the job on Thursday for the first time in more than three decades.
Newsroom workers at The Daily News Union, which formed in 2021, are in negotiations for their first contract. The union called a one-day work stoppage to protest staffing cuts, as well as a new policy that requires workers to get advance approval for overtime.
The Daily News, founded in 1919, was once a formidable city tabloid that raced for scoops against its rival, The New York Post, and was one of the largest newspapers in the country by circulation. But in recent years, the paper has been hollowed out by ownership changes and staffing cuts as it struggled against ever-declining circulation and dwindling revenue.
In 2021, its parent company, Tribune Publishing, was purchased by Alden Global Capital, an investment firm that has bought up hundreds of newspapers across the country, acquiring a reputation along the way for making deep cuts to newsrooms.
About a third of union members have left The Daily News since spring 2022, with membership now at 54 people, according to the union.
“In reality, we’re being crushed for cash,” Michael Gartland, a Daily News reporter and union steward, said in a statement. “As a result, staff is diminished, which means our ability to cover the city is diminished.”
A spokeswoman for Alden Global Capital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The last work stoppage at The Daily News was a five-month strike in 1990 and 1991.
On Thursday, Daily News journalists plan to picket outside a co-working space that now serves at their temporary office. The Daily News permanently closed its newsroom in Lower Manhattan in 2020.