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Newspaper Guild Writes Open Letter to Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

Just like we thought, the Newspaper Guild of New York has something to say about recently departed New York Times Company CEO Janet Robinson getting her full pension two years before she was eligible to get it. The union published an open letter to Arthur Sulzberger Jr. demanding that if Robinson was getting her pension, then he should drop the pension freeze on all guild members.

A note announcing the union’s position begins, “The last 24 hours have brought stunning news about several recent decisions by Arthur — moves that have angered and dismayed those of us who work for the Times and care about its direction.”

The entire letter is available below and at Saveourtimes.com.

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.

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