Washington Post journalists to stage 24-hour strike

By admin Dec6,2023

Unionized journalists at The Washington Post said they would stage a 24-hour strike on Thursday to protest staff cuts and what they call management’s failure to bargain in good faith in contract talks that have stretched on for 18 months.

The planned one-day walkout would mark the first general work stoppage at the Post since the bitter, 20-week pressmen’s strike of 1975-76, according to union officials.

The latest labor clash comes a little more than a month after William Lewis, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, was named chief executive and publisher of the Post as the venerable Washington daily newspaper was projecting a year-end loss of $100 million. Lewis is due to take charge on January 2, 2024.

Executives at the Post, which is owned by billionaire Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, said at the time of the Lewis announcement that they were offering voluntary buyouts across the company in a bid to reduce employee headcount by about 10 percent and shrink the size of the newsroom to about 940 journalists.

The Washington-Baltimore News Guild, which represents more than 1,000 editorial, advertising and other non-news staff at the Post, said mismanagement by the previous publisher led to nearly 40 layoffs last year, half from the newsroom, and the company was now seeking to cut another 240 jobs through buyouts.

According to the union, management has threatened to impose more layoffs if too few staffers accept voluntary severance packages.

“That means fewer Post employees making the critical journalism that keeps our communities informed and holds our public officials accountable,” the Guild said in a statement.

Moreover, after 18 months of contract negotiations, “the company is refusing to pay us what we’re worth or bargain in good faith,” the union said on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “So on December 7, we’re walking off the job for 24 hours.”

(With input from Reuters)

By admin

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