Washington Post Guild tears into management over ‘unacceptable’ buyouts as paper’s woes continue to pile up

Unionized workers at The Washington Post called out their bosses over what they call “unacceptable” employee buyout packages that are being offered just days before it was announced that William Lewis would be taking over as publisher and CEO of the struggling paper.

Last month, The Post announced it would cut 240 jobs through voluntary buyouts, shedding roughly 10% of its workforce due to fallen revenue. But on Thursday, The Washington Post Guild called out their bosses, saying there was “no further movement” on buyout package negotiations. 

“This week, dozens of Guild members gave testimonies about just how unacceptable that is,” the Guild wrote on X.

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The Guild then published a thread of testimonials of anonymous employees from various departments airing out their complaints with the buyout offers.

One video journalist alleged that not all employees were eligible for a buyout, telling the Guild, “This entire program seems designed to confuse and misdirect employees… By not offering it to everyone at the company, it’s not voluntary.”

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An anonymous audio producer warned about potential setbacks to the already “scrappy” audio and podcast team if the job cuts are implemented.

“I am to receive the same package as someone who has been with the organization for 15 years. My 36 years are commensurate with someone who has been here for 15 years,” a Post sales representative told the Guild. “The hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue I have earned are insignificant.”

The Guild alleged the paper is “coming at our most senior colleagues from both directions – attempting to chip away at seniority and just cause protections in the contract while also pushing older workers out through buyouts.” The union workers also called out The Post for refusing to commit to no more layoffs in the next year if the 240-job cut goal is met. 

“That’s not good enough. We’ve earned better,” the Guild wrote. 

One Washington Post journalist told Fox News Digital, “I would not want to be a newsroom manager these days.”

The Washington Post did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

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The Post has been hit with financial struggles ever since former President Trump left office. This year, the paper is reportedly set to lose $100 million.

Jeff Bezos, ultra-wealthy owner of the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” paper, expressed his desire to employees that The Post will “return to profitability” and in doing so has turned to Lewis, who previously served as Chief Creative Officer of News Corp and the CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, The Post continues to bleed some of its top talent including several longtime editors and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, many of whom took positions at the paper’s direct rival The New York Times.

In September, a video of Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy confronting a Washington Post reporter over a story she was writing went viral. Portnoy said the exhange indicated a “sad state of journalism,” and many mainstream media critics jumped on the exchange as a classic example of “gotcha” reporting by reporters with an agenda.

While 2023 has been a rough year for the Post, the paper has been the topic of a series of negative stories in recent years. 

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The Post rejected the COVID lab leak theory as a “conspiracy theory that was already debunked” in a since-corrected report that helped launch a trend of dismissing potential pandemic origins before uncovering the facts. 

In June 2022, the once-revered news organization had a disastrous week that included addressing the controversial 2018 op-ed penned by actress Amber Heard, which became the center of the explosive defamation lawsuit launched against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp, YouTubers claiming they were mischaracterized and that a reporter “lied” about asking them for comment, and public infighting between staffers. 

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Fox News’ Brian Flood and David Rutz contributed to this report. 

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