NY Times 99%ers Revolt Against Their Captors
That's pretty bad ass if you ask me:
The spirit of Occupy Wall Street has entered the hallowed halls of The New York Times. Not because the paper is covering OWS, mind you. Rather, an uprising has arisen within the paper itself.
The reason for the uprising: while The Times is demanding that rank-and-file employees make sacrifices for the financial health of the paper – sacrifices that include pension freezes and the scaling back of health savings plans for foreign correspondents and staff working overseas – the paper is simultaneously granting outgoing CEO Janet Robinson a $15 million golden parachute. (Note: while $10.9 million come from pension benefits, Robinson has access to the funds immediately – ahead of schedule – despite being 61.)
Oh, and how much is the paper expected to save from the sacrifice of its 99% staff? According to Kyle Smith of Forbes, approximately $9 million, or just over half the amount being granted to a single executive who completely failed during a tenure that saw the paper's stock price drop from $40 to $8 in seven years.
via Daily Kos
Read the Times' protesters' manifesto to Arthur Sulzberger Jr. here.
It's worth republishing:
December 23, 2011
We, the Guild leadership and many reporters, editors, account managers and other Times employees, Guild members and otherwise, are writing to express profound dismay at several recent developments.
Our foreign citizen employees in overseas bureaus have just had their pensions frozen with only a week’s warning. Some of these people have risked their lives so that we can do our jobs. A couple have even lost them. Many have spent their entire careers at the Times -- indeed, some have letters from your father explaining the pension system -- and deserve better treatment.
At the same time, your negotiators have demanded a freeze of our pension plan and an end to our independent health insurance.
We ask you to withdraw these demands so that negotiations on a new contract can proceed fruitfully and expeditiously. We also urge you to reconsider the decision to eliminate the pensions of the foreign employees.
We have worked long and hard for this company and have given up pay to keep it solvent. Some of us have risked our lives for it. You have eloquently recognized and paid moving tribute to our work and devotion. The deep disconnect between those words and the demands of your negotiators have given rise to a sense of betrayal.
One of our colleagues in senior management recently announced her retirement from the paper, which is reported to include a very generous severance and retirement package, including full pension benefits.
All of us who work at the Times deserve to have a secured retirement; this should not be a privilege cynically reserved to senior management. We strongly urge you to keep faith with your words and our shared mission of putting out the best newspaper in the world.
"The best newspaper" in the world might have been a bit dramatic but you get the point.