President Trump said Sunday it would be a “great idea” if workers at the Washington Post went on a “really long strike,” after workers signed an open letter to owner Jeff Bezos requesting a wage increase and better benefits.
“Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?” Trump wrote in a tweet.
Employees at the Post who signed the letter include reporters, account managers, drivers and producers. Part of the letter says offering $10 a week in pay increases is “unfair” and “even shocking,” and the current retirement benefits “suggest that you place little value in your employees’ future financial security.”
“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 … 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,” the letter read.
Trump has feuded with Bezos – who made most of his fortune as founder and CEO of Amazon – over the e-commerce giant. The Post reported last month that the president had “personally pushed” the U.S. postmaster general to double the rate the Postal Service charges Amazon to ship packages, citing three people familiar with their conversations.
A Citigroup analysis of the U.S. Postal Service calls the agency’s pricing model “unsustainable,” and suggests the average parcel rates would need to grow by about 50% in order to break even. A money manager, Josh Sandbulte, cited the analysis in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal and said the agency essentially gives Amazon a near-$1.50 subsidy for each box it ships.
In April, the president ordered a task force review the operations of the Postal Service and its business model, which would focus on the agency’s financial struggles. The order said the USPS “has incurred $65 billion of cumulative losses since the 2007-2009 recession.”
“The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout,” the order, which was signed by Trump, said.