“The Post once again dropped a bomb on the Guild at its first day of contract talks,” Fredrick Kunkle told the Washington Post on Tuesday, when the Post announced it would seek the same large cuts in retirement benefits for Guild members that it’s imposing on nonunion employees, eliminating future retirement medical benefits and freezing defined-benefit pensions. “The last time we went to the table, more than a year ago, we said the publisher might have put forward the most contemptuous proposal in memory,” said Kunkle, a Post staff writer and Post unit co-chair of Newspaper Guild Local 32035. “We were wrong. We think this one is as bad, maybe even worse.” The changes will hit hardest at employees hired before 2009 who could see scores — or hundreds — of thousands of dollars less over the course of a retirement.
- adapted from Steven Mufson’s 9/23 report in the Washington Post; photo of July 2013 Guild demo by Janelle Hartman, Newspaper Guild 32035