Proving once again that too many labor unions are either anti-science or only interested in destroying the companies that employ the people they’re supposed to represent, Local 32035, the union representing Washington Post employees, is attacking and mocking Post owner Jeff Bezos over benefit cuts.
The ongoing financial collapse of the Washington Post has been well-documented over the years. This is an institution in serious financial trouble. Bezos, who’s been in charge of the Post for a year, is proposing an end to pension plans that guarantee benefits forever. Instead, the a lump sum or annuity will be paid out based on the actual money in the plan. Anyone hired after September, 2009 will be given a 401 (k) benefit.
Bezos also wants to cut severance benefits in half. As it stands, for every year worked, a Post employee receives two weeks’ severance. Bezos wants to cut that to one week.
A flier printed by Local 32035, the union representing Post employees, suggests that employees could be let go with even less if Bezos’s proposals go through. “[The] Post thinks that an employee who served two years–doing things such as covering a hurricane, or delivering newspapers in a hurricane–should be okay with two weeks’ pay,” the flier reads. “Oh, and cake.”
On Thursday, Post employees demonstrated against the proposals outside the newspaper’s downtown Washington headquarters, with signs denouncing “Bezo$” and “Another Wall Street Smash and Grab.” Local columnist John Kelly, the Washingtonian’s Benjamin Freed writes, led chants urging “Post employees unite and fight! Make Jeff Bezos do what’s right!”
Staff writer Frederick Kunkle, meanwhile, told Freed that Bezos’ proposals resemble “what Walmart has done.”
I’ve been making my own living in the private sector for 30 years. The idea of receiving a pension and a guaranteed severance of any kind sounds as old-fashioned to me as a sock hop. What kind of fool risks their future by depending on anyone else, much less a large corporation like the Washington Post?
Then they crybaby themselves out of a job entirely by bankrupting a business for the sin of acting like a business.
Just give me day’s pay for a day’s work. Outside of that, I prefer to take care of myself.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC