New York Times science correspondent Donald G. McNeil Jr. tells Romenesko readers that between 375 and 400 Times staffers participated in today’s walkout. “Plus there were 23 out at the Washington bureau,” he writes. “That total – 400 to 425 – is roughly twice as many as were at our silent protest outside the Page One meeting on Feb. 29. The anger is getting worse.”
We’re right to be angry. The company has more than $900 million in cash stockpiled (I can prove that by sending you the quarterly reports) and it could solve this for about $20 million. They’re idiots if they don’t see that it makes more sense to spend that fraction of the pot rather than to alienate an entire staff that still loves their jobs and has long appreciated, even loved the Sulzberger family. But for 18 months, their lawyer and their senior VP for labor have done exactly that — acted like belligerent idiots, heedless of the consequences.
They have described us to our faces as the company’s “people who make the widgets.” Our members have died on the Syrian border, had limbs blown off in Afghanistan, been taken prisoner in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, toppled Elliot Spitzer, covered the hell out a presidential campaign, and won two to three Pulitzers a year. Take a look at the list of signers on that letter — there are a dozen Pulitzer winners on it.
Take a look at that Washington bureau picture [below] — those are the people covering the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the State Department, the Pentagon. And during this all, Arthur has been — as far as we can tell – largely absent. It’s sad and frustrating. Hence, the anger.
Times Washington bureau staffers at today’s walkout (left to right): Scott Shane (glasses, jacket), Jonathan Weisman, Charlie Savage, David Sanger (red tie), Mark Landler (trench coat), Elisabeth Bumiller (polka dot scarf), Sheryl Stolberg, Jennifer Steinhauer, Sabrina Tavernise, Adam Liptak
Second row: Gwenn Gorman (red blouse), Elisabeth Goodridge, Jackie Calmes, Ashley Southall, Eric Lipton, Eric Schmitt
Third row: Ed Wyatt (blue shirt), Annie Lowrey, Bobby Worth (hat, sunglasses)
Back Row: Jim Risen, John Broder. Behind the camera: Matt Wald