Labor Unrest

This is pretty funny. Can you imagine the New York Times staffers doing such a declasse thing as actually picketing over job losses? (Which is why they’re bleeding jobs, I guess.) Compare that with France, where the laws are on the side of the employees. That’s because, as Michael Moore noted in “Sicko,” in America, people are afraid of their government and in France, the government is afraid of the people:

It’s not exactly the storming of the Bastille, but today will mark the second day of picketing outside the offices of the International Herald Tribune — all because the company is planning to chop the sports editor, Peter Berlin, and five other non-newsroom jobs in Paris.

One source said that the paper had always prided itself on “having a sports section tailored to readers outside the US. If they are getting rid of the sports editor, it sounds like they are just going to run more stuff out of New York.”

Four of the staffers will be spared if they accept similar jobs in Hong Kong.

One source said that due to European work rules and mandatory benefits, a worker in Hong Kong would cost the company less than the same person in Paris.

Sulzberger probably rues the day he convinced the Washington Post and the Graham family to hand over their 50 percent stake of the IHT, giving the Times full ownership of the money-bleeding daily.

In Paris, nothing can be done without a lot of meetings, and management has been in talks with the Comité Central d’Enterprise and various employee groups.

“We’ve proposed moving the one editorial job for economic reasons and also because we think it will improve our journalism by allowing that editor to start earlier in the Asia day,” said an IHT spokesperson.

Understand, it’s not that the Times organization doesn’t make money. It’s that they continue to chase obscene profit margins.