NYT Lawyer Accidentally Emailed Confidential Doc to Union Official

  • A lawyer for the NYT accidentally sent a confidential slideshow to a union official, the paper confirmed.
  • The Daily Beast first reported that the email had been sent in error to the official.
  • The slideshow set out proposals the newspaper’s handling of unionization efforts by tech staff.

A lawyer advising The New York Times accidentally emailed a union official with a game plan for how the newspaper could handle unionizing workers.

A Times spokesperson said that the document offered “a range of options” for the newspaper to respond to the unionization efforts but was “sent accidentally” to the official. The accident was first reported by The Daily Beast on Thursday.

In April, more than 650 tech workers at The Times formed the Times Tech Guild unit with the aim of unionizing. The newspaper rejected the unit’s request for voluntary recognition, though, meaning that the National Labor Relations Board will supervise a vote on the matter. The Times Tech Guild is organized by NewsGuild of New York, a branch of the Communications Workers of America.

Michael Lebowich, a partner at the law firm Proskauer Rose, which is advising The Times on the unionization, sent an email on August 5 titled “Tech Organizing Unit Scope Decision Options,” The Daily Beast reported. The email contained a slideshow, marked “privileged and confidential,” that set out proposals for how the newspaper could handle the tech-staff unionization, The Daily Beast said.

Lebowich sent the email to several colleagues and Andrew Gutterman, senior vice president and deputy general counsel at The Times, who leads union discussions on behalf of the newspaper, The Daily Beast reported. But Lebowich also sent the email to Rachel Sanders, a representative for the NewsGuild of New York, the site reported.

A Times spokesperson said: “The document … lists a range of options the company has and considerations for each choice. It was accidentally sent to a union official last week as the legal team prepared to review these options with leadership.”

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