NYT: Do as we say, not as we do

The New York Times talks a good game about treating workers well. Wal—Mart does not get good press in the Times and elsewhere for its alleged sins of low wages and benefits. Still, thousands showed up in Oakland and Chicago recently to apply for jobs at new Wal—Maret stores.

But when it comes to its own employees, and rhetoric is replaced by action, the game plan shifts radically. Bill Sanderson of the New York Post reports:

Fed—up employees at The Boston Globe say their bosses at the New York Times Co. are even less welcome in Beantown than the Yankees.

That's because managers at the Times Co., which owns the Globe, are coming across in contract talks as pay and health insurance cheapskates, the Boston paper's main union charges in radio spots to start running today.

"Management wants to shift even more health care costs to workers," say the ads — explaining that the company would do so by freezing its own contributions to the health plan.

On top of that, the union says the Times is proposing no pay increase for the next four years.

Of course, Pinch Sulzberger, the genius who doubled—down the company's bet on the failing newspaper industry with the acquisition of Affiliated Publications, publisher of the Globe and other New England properties, is feeling no pain in the wallet. Despite the crash i  the company's share price, he has pulled down huge bonuses the past couple of years.

The Times editorial board remains completely silent on the matter of big bonus for the boss and effective pay reduction for the workers, what with no raise and increased health care costs. If Wal—Mart or Halliburton were to undertake such moves, can you imagine the sorts of editorials they would publish?

Of couse, it is clear that the Globe is getting close to a death spiral rate of circulation decline:

In the six—month reporting period that ended in March, the Globe's weekday circulation dropped 8.5 percent — dipping below 400,000 for the first time.

That translates into a 17 percent annual decline. Very few business survive very long with that rate oif decline in sales. But of course, very few CEOs survive bad decisions like the purchase of Affiliated.

Meanwhile, construction proceeds on the Pinch Mahal, the lavish new state—of—the—art skyscraper being built by the company. The hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to complete this status symbol, not to mention the overhead to run it once completed, have to come from somewhere. And the employees are learning that means them.

Thomas Lifson   8 25 06

The New York Times talks a good game about treating workers well. Wal—Mart does not get good press in the Times and elsewhere for its alleged sins of low wages and benefits. Still, thousands showed up in Oakland and Chicago recently to apply for jobs at new Wal—Maret stores.

But when it comes to its own employees, and rhetoric is replaced by action, the game plan shifts radically. Bill Sanderson of the New York Post reports:

Fed—up employees at The Boston Globe say their bosses at the New York Times Co. are even less welcome in Beantown than the Yankees.

That's because managers at the Times Co., which owns the Globe, are coming across in contract talks as pay and health insurance cheapskates, the Boston paper's main union charges in radio spots to start running today.

"Management wants to shift even more health care costs to workers," say the ads — explaining that the company would do so by freezing its own contributions to the health plan.

On top of that, the union says the Times is proposing no pay increase for the next four years.

Of course, Pinch Sulzberger, the genius who doubled—down the company's bet on the failing newspaper industry with the acquisition of Affiliated Publications, publisher of the Globe and other New England properties, is feeling no pain in the wallet. Despite the crash i  the company's share price, he has pulled down huge bonuses the past couple of years.

The Times editorial board remains completely silent on the matter of big bonus for the boss and effective pay reduction for the workers, what with no raise and increased health care costs. If Wal—Mart or Halliburton were to undertake such moves, can you imagine the sorts of editorials they would publish?

Of couse, it is clear that the Globe is getting close to a death spiral rate of circulation decline:

In the six—month reporting period that ended in March, the Globe's weekday circulation dropped 8.5 percent — dipping below 400,000 for the first time.

That translates into a 17 percent annual decline. Very few business survive very long with that rate oif decline in sales. But of course, very few CEOs survive bad decisions like the purchase of Affiliated.

Meanwhile, construction proceeds on the Pinch Mahal, the lavish new state—of—the—art skyscraper being built by the company. The hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to complete this status symbol, not to mention the overhead to run it once completed, have to come from somewhere. And the employees are learning that means them.

Thomas Lifson   8 25 06