New York Times, Union Agree to Mediate Floundering Negotiations

The New York Times agreed to mediate the negotiations with the guild and called off its earlier pledge to make a "final offer" to employees on Thursday

Amid crumbling negotiations between the New York Times and the guild that represents much of its staff, the newspaper's management agreed to mediation, the union said Wednesday evening.

Getty ImagesThe newspaper and the New York Newspaper Guild agreed to bring in Martin Scheinman, a prominent labor-issues arbiter who has worked with the Times before, despite management's earlier insistance that it would make its "final offer" on Thursday.

The 18-month negotiation process over pension plans and raises for the paper's staff had reached a stalemate earlier this week, as hundreds of employees walked out in protest on Monday. Then, on Tuesday, representatives for the management curtailed a negotiating session after just 10 minutes, the union said.

Also read: New York Times to Make 'Final Offer' to Union (Updated)

The guild represents a wide array of employees at the newspaper, from security guards to reporters to ad salespeople, a guild spokesman told TheWrap.

Earlier on Wednesday, the union said that management had called off a meeting. However, the guild and the Times met and agreed to the arbitration.

The management said it will hold off on making its "final offer."

The two parties are now scheduling new mediation sessions based on Scheinman's availability.

Also read: New York Times Employees Walk Out in Union Protest (Updated)

The union said the mediator was "involved in recent mediations and arbitrations involving the Times" and his abilities are "respected by both the guild and the company."

A spokeswoman for the Times declined to comment twice earlier this week on the negotiations.

"We're not commenting on our negotiations beyond saying that our priority remains reaching a fair agreement with the Guild," Eileen Murphy, the Times' vice president of corporate communications, wrote earlier Wednesday in an email to TheWrap.