September 10, 2008
Pinch Sulzberger, union-buster
The New York Times destroys the jobs of
550 union members, replacing them with non-union labor. And not for the first
time is the very wealthy Pinch Sulzberger squeezing money out of workers who
weren't born to a hereditary fortune.
Silicon Alley Insider
The New York Times is shutting down City and Suburban Delivery Systems
, a unit that distributed the Times
and 200 other publications to newsstands in the New York, New Jersey and
Connecticut area. With it, the NYT is shedding 550 full-time union jobs.
Instead, company will increase its reliance on non-union contractors (read:
cheaper) to distribute the Times to area
The unit was formed in 1992 in a bid to diminish the clout of unions over the
newspaper delivery business. The Times bought two newspaper wholesalers to
form the unit and negotiated a long-term employment contract with drivers. A
good idea at the time, but as NYT GM Scott Heekin-Canedy says now, "the
business environment has changed dramatically...."
Just over two years ago, another set of
union workers at the Times got the axe. Eight hundred well-paid union workers
lost their jobs at the company's giant New Jersey printing plant (the building
of which in 1992 was the first major project Pinch undertook when his father
brought him into the business), when the company no longer needed to print quite
so many copies as before Pinch took charge. As I wrote at
A profitable company is to
shutter a factory it built in 1992 as part of a much-hailed
visionary strategy to take advantage of technology. But now it is just a cost
to be cut. Eight hundred jobs, many of them well-paying blue collar positions
(supposedly an endangered species) will disappear, while managerial and
professional jobs are being protected.
Normally, this would be a juicy target
for series of articles on the front and business pages of the New York
Times. You know the drill: a parade of blue collar people victimized by
the Bush administration, and now facing a bleak future. Meanwhile the insiders
make out fine. There's even a fat cat CEO whose compensation package has done
a whole lot better than its profits or stock. If Howell Raines still
were editor, he'd get at least 40 stories out of it.
But today, the company in question is
the New York Times Company. So don't expect the same rules to apply.
Nothing personal - it's just
Thank you Mr.