On December 23, the Newspaper Guild of New York posted an open letter criticizing Arthur Sulzberger Jr. for freezing pensions — while giving departed CEO Janet Robinson hers early — and for not budging in negotiations. That letter now has 560 signatures from New York Times staffers and others, along with scathing comments to Sulzberger.
“We are extremely grateful, excited and heartened by the overwhelming response to the letter,” said Bill O’Meara, the guild’s President, in a note sent around calling for any last minute signatures.
The letter was sent to Sulzberger last night. A sample of one of the quotes added to it:
As the Guild’s letter states, the disconnect between the praise lavished upon us and the dismissive treatment we have experienced in negotiations has reached grotesque proportions. Talk without supporting action is by definition cheap, and a bit contemptuous to boot. The Times model is BASED on providing premium journalism; this is a business that is fundamentally about intellectual property — that happens to be your labor force. Do what’s right by your staff, and your brand will flourish. Do badly, and watch the staff leave or lose heart, and the readership flatten or slip.
Your move, Sulzberger.