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Washington Post strikers criticize owner Jeff Bezos during historic walk-out


Washington Post employees and Washington-Baltimore Guild members who took part in one of the largest labor strikes in Washington Post history, criticized the leadership of the outlet’s owner, one of the world’s richest men, Jeff Bezos. 

“I think that our owner has the power to take accountability for the fact that his publisher that he chose made poor business decisions that got us in this mess,” Washington Post reporter and Washington Post Guild News Co-Chair Katie Mettler told Fox News Digital on Thursday.

Mettler’s comments targeted Bezos’ decision to entrust The Post to its CEO and publisher Fred Ryan, whom she accused of pushing the outlet into the financial mess that caused 750 of her colleagues to go on strike. 

HUNDREDS OF DISGRUNTLED WASHINGTON POST STAFFERS WALK OFF JOB IN MASSIVE LABOR PROTEST

Washington Post strikers

Washington Post workers take part in historic walkout. (Cortney OBrien/Fox News Digital)

The strike came as the Washington Post Guild – the union for the outlet’s workers – clashed with management regarding terms for current employees, as well as terms for proposed buyouts The Post offered earlier this season as the paper implemented a 240-count job cut. The Post is facing a $100 million loss by the end of 2023, according to reports.

Fox Digital spoke to several other picketers outside the Washington Post building in Washington D.C. on Thursday who said how they felt about a company owned by one of the world’s richest men not being able to give what they described as a fair deal for employees. 

Though some were less critical of Bezos than others, all seemed to agree that Bezos could be doing more for his employees and for the financial health of the company.  

Prior to criticizing Bezos for putting Ryan – who stepped down from the role earlier this year – at the helm, Mettler admitted that Bezos “helped reinvigorate the business of the Washington Post and I think many people are grateful for that… and then our former publisher Fred Ryan squandered those profits.”

“And Fred Ryan had one boss, and it was Jeff Bezos, and so I do think there has to be a conversation about accountability there.”

WASHINGTON POST SET TO LOSE ‘$100 MILLION IN 2023’ ONE DECADE AFTER JEFF BEZOS BOUGHT THE PAPER: REPORT

Washington Post workers on strike

Washington Post workers participate in 24-hour strike for better wages. (Cortney O’Brien/Fox News Digital)

Dan Gabor, the president of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild – a union for more than 2500 news and non-profit workers in the mid-Atlantic region – said, “I think Jeff Bezos needs to take accountability for his editor mismanaging The Post to create the situation that brings us today.”

His colleague, the Guild’s executive director Cet Parks, told Fox News he believes Bezos could be doing more to help his own company.

 “Obviously, we think there could be some management decisions to make the paper better and not struggle as much. You know, I think he could obviously invest more in the news and make it what it should be,” he said.

Cat Zakrzewski, a Washington Post technology policy reporter, asserted that Bezos is responsible for Post workers’ discontent. She said, “Yes, I mean certainly this kind of activity has never happened in fifty years, and the fact that employees are out here taking this historic step of walking out on the job and showing this display, really shows the concerns about the leadership of the paper, from the owner to the publisher to the general strategy that we’re seeing right now with buyouts.”

Longtime Washington Post reporter Dan Keating was gentler on Bezos, but still had some advice for the billionaire, whose net worth is $169 billion.

“I think, actually, Jeff’s been great for the paper since he’s bought it. He’s expanded it a lot. He’s put a lot of money into it, and right now, we just need to continue to get him to do that, continue investing. We have a big election coming up, there’s a lot of news coming and we don’t think now’s the time we should be cutting back, and we think we should get a good contract,” Keating said.

Post copy editor Colleen Neely told Fox News, “18 months is too long for a contract. Our salary floor does not pay a living wage in D.C., and we deserve better, especially being owned by one of the richest men in the world.”

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