Washington Post Employees Strike Over ‘Record-Level Inflation’ As Paper Insists Economy Is Good

About 750 Post staffers walked off the job.
WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 7: Hundreds of Washington Post employees are in the midst of a historic 24-hour walk-out Thursday as they seek to ramp up pressure on management amid long-stalled contract negotiations and threatened layoffs in Washington DC, United States on December 7, 2023. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images

Hundreds of employees at The Washington Post went on strike Thursday, citing “record-level inflation,” even as the paper itself ran articles insisting that the economy is doing well under the Biden administration.

About 750 Post staffers walked off the job for a 24-hour strike, and they are asking readers not read or engage with any Post content, Axios reported.

“We still lack a contract that keeps pace with record-level inflation and guarantees workers a living wage,” the union, the Washington Post Guild, wrote in its announcement of the strike.

Meanwhile, the Post called it “a miracle year for the U.S. economy” in an editorial published on Saturday, citing falling inflation.

“In many ways, this is the year the economy finally returned to something close to normal. But many people seem to have forgotten what normal looks like after a traumatic few years,” the editorial read.

A Thanksgiving week editorial called for “gratitude” and said that the “typical U.S. family’s cup runneth over” compared to families in places like Ukraine, Gaza, and Afghanistan.

“Voters seem to be giving President Biden little or no credit for the modicum of economic and geopolitical stability over which he has presided,” the editorial said, although it admitted that the cost of housing, fuel, and food “remain elevated compared with their pre-pandemic levels.”

The Post worker strike comes after 18 months of contract negotiations.

The Post is facing a $100 million loss this year. In response, the paper is trying to get rid of 240 jobs, but only about 120 employees have accepted voluntary buyouts, according to Axios.

Last week, The Post warned that it may have to start laying people off if more employees do not accept voluntary buyouts.

Meanwhile, soaring inflation is making life difficult for Americans.

The inflation rate has slowed slightly since 2021, when it spiked to the highest levels in four decades, but many American families say they are struggling more financially now than they did before the pandemic, CBS News polling from September showed.

According to one analysis, Americans need over $11,000 more this year to keep the same standard of living they enjoyed at the beginning of 2021.

Less than half of Americans, 47%, say they cannot live comfortably and have little money left over after meeting their expenses, down from 56% who said so in 2019, according to the polling. Meanwhile, more than half, 53% of Americans, say they either have just enough or cannot meet their expenses, up from 44% in 2019.

Wages have grown, but they have not kept up with inflation, as the Post staffers appeared to acknowledge in their strike announcement.

The average hourly wage has increased 13.6% since January 2021, but inflation has outpaced that growth with a 17% spike, government data shows.

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