Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Open letter signed by more than 400 Washington Post employees demands fair pay, benefits and job security

An open letter sent by more than 400 Washington Post employees to CEO Jeff Bezos petitioned for fair pay, benefits, and job security. It also criticized present practices calling them shocking.

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The employees also uploaded a video on You Tube setting forth their position. It is appended to this article.
The Washington Post
The Washington Post was founded on December 6, 1877. It is the largest newspaper published in the United States capital Washington DC. It emphasizes coverage of national politics. Its slogan is "Democracy Dies in Darkness" which appears on its masthead. There are daily broadsheet editions that are printed for the District of Columbia and Maryland.
The paper has won 47 Pulitzer prizes
Jeff Bezos buys the Washington Post

In August of 2013 Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, bought the Washington Post for $250 million.
At the time, the current publisher and CEO Katherine Weymouth said:"With Mr. Bezos as our owner, we enter a new era and embrace an exciting future. I look forward to it, and I firmly believe you should as well." Weymouth stayed on as publisher until 2014 when Frederic Ryan Jr. took over where he remains now.
Trump has been a constant critic of Jeff Bezos and also the Washington Post as reported in a recent Digital Journal articleTrump has called the Post the chief lobbyist for Amazon.
The letter notes that the unionized staff under the Washington Post Guild are "extremely grateful" that Jeff Bezos bought the Post when he did but the employees want better pay, benefits, as well as job security.
The petition claims: "All we are asking for is fairness for each and every employee who contributed to this company's success,Fair wages, fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security." The employees claim that negotiations with the Guild's bargaining committee have been ongoing for more than a year.
Some benefits have been gained. This includes a right to ask for pay review based on the possibility of gender or minority-based pay discrimination. However, employees complain that top management has not been willing to meet them half-way on many issues they they consider important.
One issue is the rate of pay. Management is offering a pay raise of ten dollars a week but employees complain that this is below the present inflation rate. The employees also mentioned that there was a refusal to increase retirement benefits. The management is also demanding that laid-off employees waive their legal right to receive severance payments. The Washington Post has refused to comment on the letter so far. The petition can be found here.

Previously published in Digital Journal

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