The New York Times would like to cut its employees pay by 5%, but before that goes into effect for reporters and other members of the Newspaper Guild, they need the union's okay. A memo that just went out after a council meeting says the Guild is loath to take the pay cut because a) they're pretty sure the 60-80 layoffs the NYT is threatening will happen with or without the pay cut and b) it would make more sense to save money by firing some of the do-nothing managers.
Billionaire Bruce Wasserstein is under attack from communists! And they're taking the fight to the blogs! SEIU, the service industry union, has been trying to unionize workers at a chain of nursing homes called Atria Senior Living. Atria was recently bought by Lazard Real Estate Partners, which is a little corner of Lazard Ltd., which is the parent company of Wasserstein's investment bank. Since the buyout, SEIU says the nursing homes have raised rents while cutting staff and level of care. You'll find SEUI's tricky pretend financial ads on the sites of the New York Post, the Times, and, yes, Gawker (see attached, or look up). But you probably won't see them over at the homepage of New York Magazine, which is owned by a guy named Bruce Wasserstein. [NYP]
A former Starbucks employee named Mary-Elise Smilek says she was fired after four years with the company, just because she couldn't attend last month's mandatory 3-hour retraining session/ PR stunt. She had a midterm to study for. Harsh! Now she's the subject of much debate among the bored employees and company drones at the Starbucks Gossip blog. Some say she's a hoax; some say she's a victim; and the most hardcore corporate robots say: she got what she deserved for not completely dedicating her life to the Starbucks cause!
Break out the picket signs, the corporate scabs, and the Woody Guthrie songs, because it's time for all the proletarians in the Time Warner building to unite for a good old-fashioned boycott! Of the exclusive, employee-only Park Cafe! According to a righteously angry email being passed among CNN employees on the 7th floor, "on April 1 (Next Tuesday) prices are going up, frequent diner cards are being eliminated and the place will now close an hour earlier at 2:30p every day. If ever a situation called for a BOYCOTT... THIS IS IT!" By god, I can almost hear Samuel Gompers and Big Bill Haywood clawing their way out of their graves to rush to these employees' assistance! So what are the workers fighting to protect? An inside tipster describes the Park Cafe's democratic atmosphere:
Internecine fighting among those smug striking writers? The New York Post is thrilled! As they report today, the WGA East is facing strike action from their own paid staff. These Newspaper Guild-represented employees negotiated a new contract with WGA management last October, but it hasn't been signed yet. Staffers "claim WGA East Executive Director Mona Mangan revised the contract after it was ratified...." [NYP]
Happy return of the Late Night talk shows day! Tonight, our long national vaguely annoying situation preceding the nightmares is over. Letterman, Conan, Leno, and the Scottish guy are all taping new episodes for air tonight. Above, Richard Blakeley photographed Letterman's Ed Sullivan theater, quietly free of picketing scribes—because Letterman's production company negotiated a deal with the WGA, meaning he gets staff-penned material and writer-sympathetic guests. Like Robin Williams tonight! Leno has former fatty and scary/affable GOP prez contender Mike Huckabee. If anyone spots any picket-crossing or writerly unrest outside the Conan studios, or anywhere else, let us know. Related: Dave Dumps Trump For Robin; Jay Says "Huck You!" By Booking Mike [Deadline Hollywood Daily]