Trending: Here are the 9 biggest announcements from the Microsoft Ignite tech conference

Jeff Bezos. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

More than 400 employees from the Washington Post have signed an open letter to owner Jeff Bezos, calling out the Amazon CEO over pay and benefits policies.

The letter begins with praise for how The Post has thrived under Bezos, and that the staff is “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 just the past year, the letter says, the Post has doubled online subscriptions and increased traffic close to 50 percent.

But the employees also say not all is right at the Post, which Bezos bought for $250 million in 2013. In the letter, they are asking for “fair wages; fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security.”

The employees called out low pay raises, lack of investment in retirement accounts, practices surrounding layoffs, severance and more in the letter.

We’ve reached out to get comment from Bezos, and we will update this post if we hear back.

President Donald Trump, seeing a chance to get a dig in on his wealthy rival Bezos and attack a top media organization, jumped into the fray with a tweet Monday morning.

However, the Post’s union did not take kindly to Trump’s entry into the issue, rallying behind Bezos and the organization’s mission.

“We welcome public support in our campaign to achieve a fair contract with The Washington Post,” according to a statement posted on the same site that is home to the employees letter. “However, we view President Trump’s tweet as an attack on us and our mission, and it is not helpful to our cause. Although we are pressing our case with our owner over workplace issues, we stand with Jeff Bezos and our fellow journalists in the fight to bring truth to light.”

Bezos’ other company, Amazon, receives its fair-share of criticism over labor practices and working conditions, though it has also been recognized among the best companies at attracting and retaining talent. The company, which employs tens of thousands of highly paid tech workers, also deploys a worldwide network of warehouse personnel.

The median compensation of Amazon’s more than 566,000 global employees at the end of 2017 was $28,446, according to the company’s annual proxy statement, much lower than its fellow tech giants. The company’s global employment dwarfs its contemporaries and its diverse portfolio of employment clusters — from retail stores, to warehouses, to seasonal employees to traditional tech offices — and locations around the world contributed to that figure. Wherever the company opens up shop, whether its a warehouse or an engineering center, Amazon says it provides competitive wage and benefits such as company stock, health insurance and retirement savings, career training and parental leave.

Here’s the full letter along with the list of Washington Post staffers who signed it:

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.

Media and union membership inquiries: wapounion [at] gmail.com

Signed by Washington Post employees:

Melissa A. Abell, Account Executive
Ken Abrams, Desktop Publisher
Joel Achenbach, Staff Writer
Theresa Adegbesan, Accounting Specialist
Victor Aguilar, Senior Designer
Nadine Ajaka, Senior Video Producer
Monica Akhtar, Weekend Video Editor
Chris Alcantara, Graphics Reporter
Junne Alcantara, Snapchat Designer
Jason Aldag, Video Editor
Carmen Alianza-Javier, Account Executive
Scott Allen, Staff Writer
Keith L. Alexander, Staff Writer
Kevin Alston, Circulation Driver
Curt Anderson, Assignment Editor
Emily Anderson, Custom Content Writer
Nick Anderson, Staff Writer
Sachs Andrea, Staff Writer
Travis M. Andrews, Staff Writer
Sofia Anjuman Ali, Topic Editor
Karen Attiah, Editor Global Opinions
Ryan Bacic, Multiplatform Editor
Moriah Balingit, Staff Writer
Sandra Ballentine, Administrative Assistant
Jennifer Barrios, Staff Writer
Kyle Barss, Technical Director
Marsha Bell, Account Executive
Anthony Benbow, Circulation Driver
Bruce Bennett, Account Manager
Dalton Bennett, Video Journalist
Mark Berman, Staff Writer
Leonard Bernstein, Staff Writer
Shawn Betiku, Accounting Specialist
Abha Bhattarai, Staff Writer
Michael Birnbaum, Brussels Bureau Chief
Kevin Boatwright, Circulation Driver
Lisa Bolton, Administrative Aide
Julie Bone, Multiplatform Editor
Jamie M. Bonini, Circulation Driver
Lisa Bonos, Staff Writer
Raymond Boyer, Tactical Account Manager
William R. Bray, Circulation Driver
Timmy Briggs, Circulation Driver
Gillian Brockell, Video Editor
Jacob Brogan, Assistant Editor
Kathleen Brooks, Designer
Garvin Brooms, Specialist
Kelly Brundidge, Circulation Driver
Bethonie Butler, Staff Writer
Chatisha Cadlett, Senior Accounting Specialist
Martha Cairnie, Account Manager
Tim Carman, Staff Writer
Amy Cavenaile, Designer
Ariana Cha, Staff Writer
Tim Cherry, Circulation Driver
Hau Chu, Editorial Aide
Nicole Chung, Editorial Aide
Leroy R. Clark, Circulation Driver
Georganne Coco, Multiplatform Editor
Ajara Coker, Senior Accounting Specialist
Rhonda Colvin, Video Planning Editor
Jessica Contrera, Staff Writer
Henrietta Cook, Account Executive
Tim Craig, Staff Writer
James A. Crudup Jr., Circulation Driver
KaDeana Davage, Account Executive
Chris Davenport, Staff Writer
Joe Davidson, Columnist
Kurt Davies, Business Intelligence Analyst
Robert Davis, Home Page Editor
Mike DeBonis, Staff Writer
Nia Decaille, Social Media Producer
David M. DeJesus, Account Manager
Nicki DeMarco, Video Editor
Nathaniel J. Dennis Jr., Account Manager
Caitlin Dewey, Staff Writer
Renee Dobson-Wright, Make-Up Person
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Staff Writer
James Downie, Digital Opinion Editor
Geoff Edgers, Staff Writer
Dara Elasfar, Editorial Aide
Kara Elder, News Aide
Laura Elsner, Designer
Marwa Eltagouri, Staff Writer
Armand Emamdjomeh, Graphics Reporter
Christine Emba, Columnist
Kayla Epstein, Assistant Editor
Amanda Erickson, Staff Writer
Amir Keyvan Etemadi, Accounting Specialist
Ranson Evely, Circulation Driver
April Everson, Accounting Specialist
Darryl Fears, Staff Writer
Colis Ferguson, Home Page Editor
Nina Fomufod, Senior Production Coordinator
Wanda Frazer, Account Manager
Paul Freedman, Multiplatform Editor
Macy L. Freeman, Producer
Angela Fritz, Staff Writer
Brian Fung, Staff Writer
Robert Gebelhoff, Assistant Editor
Jon Gerberg, Video Journalist
Nicole Giddens, Account Executive
Jack Gillum, Staff Writer
Robin Givhan, Staff Writer
Annie Gowen, Staff Writer
Tom Graham, Multiplatform Editor
Gregory Green, Circulation Driver
Keith E. Green, Circulation Driver
Michael Greenberg, Copy Writer
Tyesha Greenwood, Senior Accounting Specialist
Aaron Gregg, News Aide
Joan Greve, Research Assistant
Ben Guarino, Staff Writer
Iris Guevara, Assignment Coordinator
Gaye Gunes, Foreign Desk Administrator
Emily Guskin, Survey Analyst
Bruce G. Guthrie, Multiplatform Editor
Julio Gutierrez, Circulation Driver
Shirley Hairston, Accounting Specialist
Robert Craig Hall Sr., Circulation Driver
Keith T. Hall, Circulation Driver
Tom Hamburger, Staff Writer
Vicki Harrington, Yield Manager
Nicole Harris, Senior Accounting Specialist
Elizabeth Hart, Designer
Ali Hattamer, Client Service Manager
Rachel Hatzipanagos, Multiplatform Editor
Dana Hedgpeth, Staff Writer
Emily A. Heil, Staff Writer
Joe Heim, Staff Writer
Karen Heller, Staff Writer
Wendy Henderson, Artist
Peter Hermann, Staff Writer
Arelis Hernandez, Staff Writer
Retha Herring, Accounting Specialist
Monica Hesse, Staff Writer
Sheldon Higginbotham, Account Manager
Mark Higgins, Desktop Publisher
Scott Higham, Staff Writer
Sophie Ho, Operations Editor
Eric Hobeck, News Aide
Peter Holley, Staff Writer
Deborah Y. Howard, Account Executive
Patricia Howard, Multiplatform Editor
Spencer Hsu, Staff Writer
Carroll Hubbard, Circulation Driver
Christopher Ingraham, Staff Writer
Tom Jackman, Staff Writer
Pia Jacobs, Business Analyst
Lynn M. Jefferson, Account Executive
Hannah Jewell, Host/Editor
Cannie Johnson, Administrative Assistant
Carolyn Johnson, Staff Writer
Jennifer Johnson, Accounting Specialist
Lady Johnson, Senior Accounting Specialist
Paul Johnson, Circulation Driver
Thomas Johnson, Audience Editor
Maya Jones, Accounting Specialist
Ron Jones, Multiplatform Editor
Ashleigh Joplin, Video Reporter
Dave Jorgenson, Video Journalist
Justin Jouvenal, Staff Writer
Maura Judkis, Staff Writer
Davage KaDeana, Account Executive
Kimberly Kady, Artist
Caroline Kaltenborn, Client Service Manager
Paul Kane, Staff Writer
Chris Kankel, Lead Developer
Sarah Kaplan, Staff Writer
Antony Karoki, Circulation Driver
Maya Kashyap, Program Manager
Christine Keaney-Saxton, Cashier/Accounting Specialist
Daniel Keating, Graphics Editor
John Kelly, Columnist
Kimbriell Kelly, Staff Writer
Philip Kennicott, Senior Art and Architecture Critic
Isabelle Khurshudyan, Staff Writer
Hyojin Kim, Creative Design Manager
Kimberly Kindy, Staff Writer
Richard Kirkpatrick, Circulation Driver
Alison Klein, Staff Writer
Joyce Koh, Digital Video Editor
Becky Krystal, Staff Writer
Shefali Kulkarni, Operations Editor
Danielle Kunitz, Video Graphics Editor
Darrell Kyle, Circulation Driver
Kathy Lally, Assistant Editor
May-Ying Lam, Photo Editor
Marissa Lang, Staff Writer
David Larimer, Assignment Editor
Sarah Larimer, Staff Writer
Mike Laris, Staff Writer
Luz Lazo, Staff Writer
Anthony Le, Artist
Eugene Leach, Circulation Driver
Whitney Leaming, Video Reporter
Joanne Lee, Designer
Joyce Lee, Foreign Video Editor
Katherine Lee, Designer
Alexandra Lemley, Client Service Manager
Joshua Levy, Video Reporter
Alice Li, Video Reporter
Mary Liekweg, Multiplatform Editor
Aviva Loeb, Designer
Heather Long, Staff Writer
Shanna Lowe, Senior Accounting Specialist
Wesley Lowery, Staff Writer
Yonathan Maalo, Long-Term Agency Temp, Engineering
Josh Mackesy, Desktop Publisher
Osman Malik, Creative Director
Rachel Manteuffel, Editorial Aide
Sarah Mark, Multiplatform Editor
Patrick Martin, Digital Video Editor
Samuel Martin, Assistant Systems Editor
Everdeen Mason, Assignment Editor
Ross May, Designer
Terence McArdle, News Aide
Denny McAuliffe, Multiplatform Editor
Brian McCardle, Multiplatform Editor
Ellen McCarthy, Staff Writer
Franklin McClary, Circulation Driver
Elizabeth McConville, Client Service Manager
Brian McCraw, Digital Advertising Operations Coordinator
Liz McGehee, Multiplatform Editor
Keith McMillan, Assignment Editor
Laurie McGinley, Staff Writer
Tierra McKnight, Account Executive – Team Lead
Alexa McMahon, Digital Editor
Elise McNall, Digital Advertising Operations Coordinator
Solomon Mehari, Circulation Driver
Tim Meko, Deputy Graphics Director
Ruby Mellen, Research Assistant
Ted Mellnik, Graphics Editor
Jesse Mesner-Hage, Commissioning Editor
Katie Mettler, Staff Writer
Anne Midgette, Classical Music Critic
Michael Minichini, Assignment Coordinator
Shalea Minnis, Accounting Specialist
Luis F. Miranda, Circulation Driver
Robert Mitchell, Multiplatform Editor
David Montgomery, Staff Writer
Chris Mooney, Staff Writer
Joe Moore, Designer
Loveday Morris, Staff Writer
Justin Moyer, Staff Writer
Breanna Muir, Video Technician
Dionne Mullins, Account Executive
Brian Murphy, Staff Writer
Mary Jo Murphy, Assistant Editor
Zoeanne Murphy, Video Reporter
Anne Murtha, Client Service Manager
Ellen Nakashima, Staff Writer
Sarah Nelson, Senior Program Coordinator
Kate Newman, Custom Content Strategist
Ashley Nguyen, Multiplatform Editor
Lime Nguyen, Vendor
Fenit Nirappil, Staff Writer
Minza Nkonya, Accounting Specialist
Jonathan O’Connell, Staff Writer
Erin O’Connor, Intersect Video Editor
Michael O’Sullivan, Staff Writer
Lonzell Offutt, Manager
Antonio Olivo, Staff Writer
Dennis F. Olney, Account Manager
Lynn Olson, Assistant Editor
Jayne Orenstein, Immersive Editor
Amy Orndorff, Multiplatform Editor
Rachel Orr, Lead Designer
T.J. Ortenzi, Operations Editor
Brittany Pableo, Developer
Eddy Palanzo, Librarian
Damian Paletta, Staff Writer
Gary Palmatier, Artist
Alexandra Pannoni, Multiplatform Editor
Danielle Paquette, Staff Writer
Gene Park, Engagement Producer
Ashley Parker, Staff Writer
Joe Parker, Account Executive
Sarah Parnass, Foreign Video Editor
Gayle Pegg, Account Manager
Amber Phillips, Staff Writer
Larry Pickeral, Desktop Publisher
Aaron Pinchback, Production Coordinator
Sarah Polus, Editorial Aide
Donald Seiss Polyer, Administrative Aide
Jenna Portnoy, Staff Writer
Martine Powers, Staff Writer
Carlethia Pratt, Account Executive
Hector Quintero, Circulation Driver
Sudarsan Raghavan, Staff Writer
Lavanya Ramanathan, Staff Writer
Grace Raver, Digital Video Editor
Leilah Reese, News Aide
Lisa Rein, Staff Writer
Beth Reinhard, Staff Writer
Jorge Ribas, Video Reporter
Meghan Rice, Senior Accounting Specialist
Steven Rich, Staff Writer
Jamie Richardson, Senior Production Coordinator
Stephen Richardson, Specialist
Anthony Rivera, Multiplatform Editor
Molly Roberts, Editorial Writer
Roxanne Roberts, Staff Writer
Jenny Rogers, Assistant Editor
John Romero, Multiplatform Editor
Mark E. Rougeux, Circulation Driver
Mike Ruane, Staff Writer
Ben Rubenstein, Senior Designer
Kathleen Rudell-Brooks, Designer
Andrea Sachs, Staff Writer
Jason Samuel, Tactical Account Manager
Elyse Samuels, Video Editor
Ricardo Sanchez, Engagement Producer
David Sanders, Senior Business Process Analyst
Lauren Sansalone, Associate Client Services Manager
Kevin Schaul, Senior Graphics Editor
Michael Scherer, Staff Writer
Heather Schmelzlen, Social Media Specialist
Samantha Schmidt, Staff Writer
Matthew Schnabel, Multiplatform Editor
Gregory S. Schneider, Staff Writer
Matt Schudel, Staff Writer
Jenna Schwartz, Copy Aide
Jake Scobey-Thal, Custom Content Editor
Justin Scuiletti, Video Technician
Molly Seligman, Production Coordinator
Frances Sellers, Staff Writer
Hamza Shaban, Staff Writer
Shibani Shah, Topic Editor
Ian Shapira, Staff Writer
Leslie Shapiro, Graphics Reporter
Katherine Shaver, Staff Writer
Whitney Shefte, Video Reporter
Tanya Sichynsky, Producer
Faiz Siddiqui, Staff Writer
Rachel Siegel, Staff Writer
Tom Sietsema, Columnist
Michelle Sinclair, Account Executive
Michelle Singletary, Columnist
Liz Sly, Staff Writer
Harrison Smith, Staff Writer
Jonathan Smith, Home Delivery Agent
William Smith, Circulation Driver
Hoo Winyan Soo, Editorial Aide
Donna St. George, Staff Writer
Jenny Starrs, Video Editor
Jeffrey Stein, Staff Writer
Perry Stein, Staff Writer
Daniel Steinberg, Assignment Editor
Savannah Stephens, Editorial Aide
Valerie Strauss, Staff Writer
Joseph Strong, Circulation Driver
Hank Stuever, Columnist
Maya Sugarman, Video Editor
Patricia Sullivan, Staff Writer
Lena H. Sun, Staff Writer
Barry Svrluga, Columnist
Scott Taber, Account Manager
Adela Taulla, Marketing Solutions Manager
Ben Terris, Staff Writer
Darnell Thomas, Circulation Driver
Vera Thornton, Assignment Coordinator
Paul D. Tomlin, Circulation Driver
Alli Torzolini, Client Service Manager
Michael Tsapos, Accounting Specialist
Hayley Tsukayama, Staff Writer
Taylor Turner, Digital Video Editor
Kevin Uhrmacher, Graphics Editor
Adriana Usero, Digital Video Editor
Andrew Van Dam, Staff Writer
Terro Veun, Designer
Elise Viebeck, Staff Writer
Julie Vitkovskaya, Project Editor
Kim Walker, Home Page Producer
Josh Wallace, Business Intelligence Analyst
Jesse Walston, Circulation Driver
William Wan, Staff Writer
Amy Wang, Staff Writer
Jay-min Wang, Multiplatform Editor
Cecelia Watkins, Senior Accounting Specialist
David Weigel, Staff Writer
Leona T. Weiner, Artist
Erica Werner, Staff Writer
Gilbert White, Circulation Driver
John M. White, Editorial Aide
Peter Whoriskey, Staff Writer
Robin T. Wilkerson, Account Executive
Aaron Williams, Graphics Reporter
Clarence Williams, Staff Writer
Monica D. Williams, Phone Operator
Griff Witte, Staff Writer
Bill Wolle, Multiplatform Editor
Jason Wong, Designer
Eric Wood, Account Executive
Dan Zak, Staff Writer
Matt Zapotosky, Staff Writer
Julie Zauzmer, Staff Writer
Dejen Zeleke, Senior Financial Accountant

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline

Comments

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.