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New York Times' Donald G. McNeil Jr. On Contract Talks: Management Has 'Acted Like Belligerent Idiots'

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New York Times science reporter Donald G. McNeil, Jr. blasted the newspaper's handling of contract talks on the heels of Monday's walkout.

Hundreds of Times staffers briefly walked out of the building Monday afternoon to protest the company's proposed contract terms. Union members have been working without a contract for the past eighteen months, and the talks remain deadlocked over employee pension plans among other issues.

McNeil was one of two staffers who counted the number of employees who walked out on Monday, which he estimated totaled between 375 and 400 people. "That’s roughly twice as many as were at our silent protest outside the Page One meeting on Feb. 29," he told The Huffington Post Monday. "The anger is getting worse."

In an email to Jim Romenesko, McNeil hammered the paper's management over its refusal to budge. He argued that the company could meet union members' demands for $20 million, and has $900 million in cash.

He also said that the company's lawyer Bernard Plum and labor relations vice-president Terry Hayes have "acted like belligerent idiots."

"Our members have died on the Syrian border, had limbs blown off in Afghanistan, been taken prisoner in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, toppled Elliot Spitzer, covered the hell out a presidential campaign, and won two to three Pulitzers a year," he wrote. Click over to Romenesko to read the full text of the email.

In April, McNeil was one of several staffers who spoke out against the company's proposal in a series of videos. He said that he stood to lose $350,000 over a 20 year period if the management's call to freeze pension plans went through. "$350,000, as far as I'm concerned, is worth risking a strike over," he said.

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