Journalists at The New York Daily News walked off the job Thursday for the first time in more than three decades.
Newsroom workers at The Daily News Union, formed in 2021, are negotiating their first contract. The union has called for a one-day strike to protest staff cuts as well as a new policy that requires workers to get advance approval for overtime.
The Daily News, founded in 1919, was once one of the country’s largest newspapers by circulation. But in recent years, ownership changes and staff cutbacks have left the newspaper hollowed out as it struggles against steadily declining circulation and declining revenues.
In 2021, its parent company, Tribune Publishing, was purchased by Alden Global Capital, an investment firm that has bought hundreds of newspapers across the country, and gained a reputation for making deep cuts into newsrooms.
Nearly a third of union members have left The Daily News since the spring of 2022, according to the union, whose membership now stands at 54 people.
“In reality, we are being crushed for cash,” Daily News reporter and union steward Michael Gartland said in a statement. “As a result, staffing is reduced, which means our ability to cover the city is reduced.”
An Alden Global Capital spokesperson 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 the co-working space that now serves as their temporary office. The Daily News permanently closed its newsroom in Lower Manhattan in 2020.