Blog Post

NWS-DJ: WSJ Reporters Picket; Zannino Says Some Job Cuts "Unavoidable"

Various messages about jobs at Dow Jones (NYSE: DJ) Monday as several dozen WSJ reporters picketed and CEO Richard Zannino — whose current compensation and gilded parachute are among targets of the protestn — explained that being bought by News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) to save jobs doesn’t mean all jobs will be saved. (Well, not exactly in those words but you get the drift.)

The protestors: The Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, which represents about 2,000 DJ employees including WSJ reporters, has yet been able to aect much of anything. The reporters have been working without a contract for months. Attempts to find a buyer or an alternative to Murdoch failed. Now the union and some of its members are protesting against both the once and future management of the Dow Jones. It’s not hard to understand why people facing a “final” offer of 3 percent raisesand more medical costs, even those among the most well-paid journalists in the U,S., might be protesting a management that stands to gain millions from a sale. Some flavor from Gawker; sample sign: “”Bancroft Lawyers: 30 mil. Staff: Pay Cut.”
E&P: Head of bargaining Jim Browning said a strike vote could come “as early as this weekend.” DJ spokesman: “… We value our employees, both union and non-union, and continue to negotiate in good faith.”

Make a deal now, Murdoch has to honor it, says Browning. Don’t make one and deal with his negotiators. His contention: “It is better to have him arrive to a newsroom where reporters are not threatening to walk out.”

Job security: At the same time, AP reports, Zannino posted an internal memo promising to give as much warning as possible “where job cuts are unavoidable” and to provide “appropriate severance.” Investment will be coming in but that doesn’t mean all jobs are safe.