The union representing most of the Washington Post’s journalists, production specialists, and drivers released a statement today denouncing management for failing to negotiate in good faith and called for a strike on Thursday.
“On December 7, we ask you to respect our walkout by not crossing the picket line: For 24 hours, please do not engage with any Post content,” the union, Post Guild, said.
“That includes our print and online news stories, podcasts, videos, games and recipes.”
In a letter to readers, union leaders expressed frustration over the company’s stance during 18 months of contract negotiations.
“Management has refused to bargain in good faith and repeatedly – and illegally – shut down negotiations over key issues, such as pay equity, raises that keep pace with inflation and our competitors, remote work policies, mental health supports and a buyout package that seeks to reduce our workforce by 10%,” the statement said.
“On December 7, please do not engage with any Post content” – Post Guild.
The union said it is working to ensure “strong job protections, a living wage and adequate retirement benefits” for all workers, including ad sales reps and print production staff.
In a video posted on the union’s social media, a host of staffers accuse the company of failing “to offer us a fair deal that keeps pace with the economy and our competitors.”
“I’ve risked my life on the front lines of war” chief Ukraine correspondent Siobhán O’Grady says. “I work hard to make sure you know exactly what’s going on in our D.C.community,” local politics reporter Michael Brice-Saddler says.
“I’m worth more,” they all say.
“Poor decisions at the top”
When the Post announced buyouts in October, interim CEO Patty Stonesifer acknowledged the company was struggling to grow revenue.
“Our prior projections for traffic, subscriptions and advertising growth for the past two years — and into 2024 — have been overly optimistic,” Stonesifer told staff in an email.
“Prior projections for traffic, subscriptions and advertising growth have been overly optimistic” – Interim CEO Patty Stonesifer.
The Guild accused the company of penalizing workers “for a litany of poor business decisions at the top.”
“We cannot comprehend how The Post, owned by one of the richest people in the world, has decided to foist the consequences of its incoherent business plan and irresponsibly rapid expansion onto the hardworking people who make this company run,” the union said, referring to the posts billionaire owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Last week, Executive Editor Sally Busbee told employees that only 36 newsroom staffers had opted for the voluntary packages, and Stonesifer warned that layoffs could be next.