Scanning our Twitter feed this morning we saw this unusual tweet from Haaretz, announcing that the paper’s employees were going on strike (the Forward has an online partnership with the Israeli paper in which we swap content).
#Haaretz and The Marker have launched a strike, paralyzing the newsroom. We will resume updating when the strike ends htz.li/SCAPMC; Haaretz.com (@haaretzonline) October 3, 2012
And now Amos Schoken, the paper’s publisher, in an angry letter to his staff, lashed out, writing, “If it’s the fate of Haaretz to close, let it close now.”
Even though the method of transmission and Schoken’s response was something of a surprise, the strike was expected. Haaretz workers said yesterday that they would strike from 4 PM until midnight (Israel time) on Wednesday to protest the plan to lay off 100 employees and what they say has been management’s unwillingness to negotiate over further firings and cutbacks.
It appears that, at the very least, the strike will affect publication of the paper on Thursday.
Gal Beckerman was a staff writer and then the Forward’s opinion editor until 2014. He was previously an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review where he wrote essays and media criticism. His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review and Bookforum. His first book, “When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry,” won the 2010 National Jewish Book Award and the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, as well as being named a best book of the year by The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Follow Gal on Twitter at @galbeckerman