Good morning America, this your President
speakingtweeting, and I’d like to welcome you to the traditional Sunday briefing, where I’ll update you on all the various conspiracies I imagine are afoot.
Donald Trump has been on quite the roll this weekend when it comes to Twitter and yes, I do realize you could say that pretty much every weekend.
But Saturday was special, because in the course of retelling (for the thousandth time), the story of “James Comey and the den of thieves”, the President spelled “destroy” wrong and then just minutes later, while explaining how his supporters are “the smartest”, used the plural of the word “country” in place of the possessive.
On Sunday, Trump got started just before 8:00 AM and his first target was Chuck Schumer. Trump then proceeded to launch (get it?) into a series of tweets defending his “agreement” with Kim Jong-Un, in what amounted to a “the pussy grabber doth protest too much, methinks” moment, but there wasn’t much “new” in the North Korea tweets, per se.
What was new in this week’s installment of Trump’s Tyrannical Sunday Twitter Tirades, was this:
As usual, it’s not 100% clear what Trump is talking about there, but I can only assume (and don’t shoot me if I’m wrong, because I’m not the President of the United States tweeting without providing reference links) he’s referring to the open letter thing. Here’s The New York Post with the brief backstory:
More than 400 unionized employees of the Washington Post have signed a public letter asking its multibillionaire owner for a raise.
Jeff Bezos, who is at the top of Forbes magazine’s latest list of richest Americans at $112 billion. is accused in the letter of not offering “fair wages; fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security”.
The Washington Post Guild said contract negotiations have been going on for more than a year.
It added “the Post has doubled the number of digital subscriptions and increased its online traffic by more than half,’’ along with meeting or exceeding its advertising goals.
Adweek reported the newspaper offered just $10-a-week in pay increases, which amount to 0.6 percent of the median salary. It also said the newspaper told employees to waive their legal rights to severance payments if they’re laid off.
And here’s the actual letter:
Dear Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post:
We, the undersigned, have been extremely grateful that you stepped in to purchase the Post at a time when the traditional media model was collapsing, and we have given our all to take advantage of the long runway you promised. In the past year alone, the Post has doubled the number of digital subscriptions and increased its online traffic by more than half; its advertising team has met or exceeded all its targets.
All we are asking for is fairness for each and every employee who contributed to this company’s success: fair wages; fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security.
– Offering $10 a week in pay increases — or about 0.6 percent of the median salary and less than half the current rate of inflation — is unfair and even shocking from someone who believes democracy dies in darkness.
– Refusing to improve retirement benefits is unfair, particularly since you froze the traditional pension. The current retirement plans, including a 1 percent match on our 401(k), suggest that you place little value in your employees’ future financial security.
– Pushing for the right to indiscriminately lay off anyone is unfair — and a recipe for future discrimination against older employees and minorities.
– Further cutting severance for people who face layoffs or whose job has been outsourced is unfair, particularly since management has already won the right to drastically cut severance for people who are let go for cause.
– Demanding that laid-off employees waive their legal rights to receive severance payments is an extreme demand and an ominous one — particularly in light of the Post’s mixed record on fair treatment for women, racial minorities and older employees.
The Post is not just any business venture. But even if it were — this would not be the way to show that you value your employees.
Please show the world that you not only can lead the way in creating wealth, but that you also know how to share it with the people who helped you create it.
Finally, this is the accompanying video:
Look, we’re no experts on collective bargaining, but we do have some business degrees hanging on the wall over here and based on our experience, this is just what people do. It’s part of banding together to get higher pay and better benefits. That’s how it works. What else are you doing if you’re not trying to secure all of the things laid out in that letter? It’s not necessarily indicative of some kind of imminent uprising.
But beyond that, Trump’s tweet is obviously insane because what he’s suggesting is that this push is important not because, if successful, it would mean a better life for the employees (who he clearly hates), but rather because if they went on a protracted strike, the Washington Post couldn’t produce any news. I mean, just read it again:
He wants WaPo employees to go on strike so they’ll quit writing articles about him “for an extended period of time.”
And he said it. On Twitter. To 54 million people.
And then, if/when they do secure the kind of concessions that would encourage them to go back to work, he wants them (with their now larger salaries and better benefits) to register as lobbyists, a repeat of his egregious tweet from late March.
All you can do is laugh, but unfortunately, it’s not really funny.