The Newspaper Guild-CWA and the Washington-Baltimore local join their members at The Washington Post in welcoming Jeff Bezos as the newspaper’s new owner.
“This is potentially an entirely new era for the Post,” International Guild President Bernie Lunzer said. “Our members have made the Post one of America’s most engaging, high-quality and vital news products, and we see the sale as a opportunity to build on that and create a model for profitable journalism.”
The Guild represents nearly 900 workers at the Post, and is in the process of bargaining a new contract.
Guild leaders said they appreciate Bezos’ comments about upholding the journalistic values of the Post, and pledging no immediate changes in management, operations or staff.
“We are eager to work with the new management to continue the proud traditions of quality journalism,” said Cet Parks, executive director of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. “We expect Mr. Bezos to respect the status of all unions at the paper, including the Guild as the designated representative of the newsroom and commercial-side bargaining unit.”
Corporate buyers are obligated by securities law to bargain labor agreements with existing unions and honor pension liabilities. Katharine Weymouth, who will stay on as publisher, said that she and the new owner “look forward to working with” the Post’s unions.
Under the terms of the sale, Bezos has agreed to maintain all base salaries for at least one year.
“We intend to stay the course by working toward a new labor agreement,” Parks said. “We hope that the new owners are just as eager to reach a new pact.”