Two famous NYT reporters cross picket lines in one-day newsroom strike
The New York Times says it is working on a weekly television news program to showcase its reporting AFP/File / DON EMMERT

Two prominent reporters are crossing the picket line in a one-day strike by New York Times journalists.

Peter Baker, the newspaper's chief White House reporter, and Pulitzer Prize-winning White House correspondent Michael Shear told colleagues they would not participate in the 24-hour work stoppage, sources told Semafor.

The New York NewsGuild, the labor union that represents the newspaper, said about 80 percent of its members signed pledges to participate in the strike, and the refusal by Baker and Shear reflects a divide between many in the newsroom and some older staffers in the D.C. bureau who feel the union should focus primarily on compensation and worker protections rather than cultural and social issues that have been included in bargaining proposals.

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Shear had been among dozens of staffers who signed on to a letter protesting an increase in union dues for employees making more than $140,000 a year, and Baker has famously said he doesn't vote to protect himself from potential political bias.

"I try hard not to take strong positions on public issues even in private, much to the frustration of friends and family," Baker said. "For me, it's easier to stay out of the fray if I never make up my mind, even in the privacy of the kitchen or the voting booth, that one candidate is better than another, that one side is right and the other wrong."