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ink-stained wretches

New York Times Staff Plans to Walk Out for a Few Minutes Today

Pedestrians pass in front of the New York Times Co. building in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, said more than 100,000 people signed up for new digital subscriptions, a sign online revenue may help offset a decline in print advertising and circulation. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Union members at the New York Times have now gone eighteen months and counting without a new contract and plan to remind management of that fact this afternoon. "There is no longer any time to waste," reads a Newspaper Guild memo to staffers calling for a walk-out. "It is time to raise our voices." But it'll be quick, and hopefully won't interfere with actually getting things done: "We want you to participate if you have flexibility in your work schedule that permits a 10 or 15 minute break at 3:35," say the instructions. While the fight for fair wages, pensions, and benefits is serious, the union actions remain symbolic for now. "We are not planning a strike," Guild President Bill O'Meara said last month. "A strike is a nuclear weapon. It's mutually assured destruction." This is just a little breather with purpose.

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Photo: Bloomberg/2011 Bloomberg