The story of the New York Times' negotiation with its Newspaper Guild bargaining unit just keeps getting better and better for those of us who appreciate the contradictions and ironies of a business trying to run itself profitably while also issuing left-wing editorials. Here, via Jim Romenesko, is a section from a memo to Times employees from the senior vice president, operations and labor of the New York Times Newspaper Group, Terry Hayes:
the most important thing we can do is to eliminate the expense, risk and volatility of the defined-benefit pension plans many of our employees have enjoyed over the years. In doing this, we are acting no differently than most other employers in America — as The Times itself reported a few weeks ago, only 14 percent of employees throughout the country still have defined-benefit pension plans. They are great for employees, but they are, sadly, unaffordable.
It'd be nice if the Times editorialists were as passionate about saving the New York taxpayers money by transitioning away from defined-benefit pension plans as it appears Mr. Hayes is emphatic about saving New York Times shareholders money by doing so. Alas, when the Times editorialized about the matter back in February, it declared that if Governor Cuomo decided to abandon his proposal of 401(K)-style defined contribution plans for new New York State employees, that would be "fine," as far as the Times editorialists were concerned.