The Pacific Media Workers Guild shares the following statement on behalf of our unit, the Daily Kos Guild, which is facing a second round of layoffs in a little more than a year. These proposed layoffs would represent an almost 40% cut of the represented staff.
On January 19th, 2024, Daily Kos Management (DKM) posted a company-wide message signed by Markos Moulitsas to announce major management changes. It included this assertion, “I am confident that with this leadership team, Kos Media will thrive as we enter the next exciting chapter for the company.”
The Daily Kos Guild (DKG), representing 40 staff at the company, welcomed this assertion as an indication of the company’s return to stability after the challenges and staff cuts we experienced in 2023.
Yet a mere three weeks later, on February 9, 2024, DKM informed the DKG of their plans to lay off 15 Guild represented positions. These planned layoffs would represent a significant cut—nearly 40%—of DKG’s represented members.
DKG is frustrated by this news of layoffs coming within a month of that statement. We are even more dismayed to see that its highly-qualified, credentialed, industry-veteran workers’ suggestions were silenced and ignored this past year. These cuts as proposed will be nothing short of devastating to Daily Kos as a company and to the larger Daily Kos community.
DKG’s firm position is that the current severance proposal from DKM of only one month’s salary and one month of reimbursed health care is unacceptable. This is especially true when compared with the severance package offered one year ago, which was 3 months of salary plus one week for every year employed, and 3 months of reimbursed health care coverage. Denying employees today what was fair and just one year ago would betray the fundamental, progressive values espoused by the organization since its inception.
It has now been three years since DKG was recognized, but we remain without a contract to govern this layoff process. Recognizing the urgency of this situation, the Guild asks that Daily Kos Management enter into good faith negotiations with us immediately.