As the Washington Post suffers eye-watering losses, the embattled newspaper’s employees have just launched a major strike.
On Thursday, over 750 Washington Post employees launched a 24-hour strike.
The strike is one of the largest labor protests in decades.
The walkout comes as the Post is anticipating a loss of around $100 million in 2023.
Two individuals familiar with the Post’s finances reportedly told The New York Times in July that the outlet plans to eliminate roughly 240 jobs.
According to a Tuesday letter about the strike by The Washington Post Newspaper Guild, the company’s staff has struggled to achieve its objectives in negotiations with management on pay, flexibility, mental health, and layoffs.
The letter states:
“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 percent.”
Our 24-hour strike has begun.
— Washington Post Guild (@PostGuild) December 7, 2023
Executives at the Post reject the union’s assertion that the negotiations have not been in “good faith,” however.
They insist that they want to strike a deal by the end of December, according to the Post.
The union wants a minimum salary of over $100,000 for reporters.
The Post’s most recent offer is under $73,000.
“We respect the rights of our Guild-covered colleagues to engage in this planned one-day strike,” a spokesperson for the Post stated.
“We will make sure our readers and customers are as unaffected as possible.”
The Post has struggled to expand its paid customer base since the 2020 election.
During the 2020 cycle, the Post reached a pinnacle of 3 million digital subscriptions, two other individuals reportedly told the NYT.
This number had fallen to about 2.5 million by July this year.
“This is a declaration by hundreds of Washington Post staffers saying that if the company is to work with us fairly, it has to respect its employees,” steward for The Washington Post Newspaper Guild and climate reporter for the Post Sarah Kaplan stated.
“I know they will still try to get a paper out …
“But they can’t get a good paper out without us.”