War on workers and war on Iraq

NEW YORK (PAI) – Want ultimate evidence that U.S. companies wage war on workers while the U.S. wages war in Iraq? Listen to reporters at the Wall Street Journal.

The voice of U.S. capitalism is known for its stridently right-wing anti-worker editorials – and its influence with the anti-worker, anti-union Bush regime. But the Journal’s workers are members of The Newspaper Guild/IAPE Local 1096. And, thanks to a company stock option plan, they’re also Dow Jones shareholders.

Here’s what reporter/shareholder Greg Jaffe told the Dow Jones annual meeting in May, according to The Guild Reporter: “Over the last two and a half years, we have been shot at,” Jaffe said of himself and other reporters who have covered the war in Iraq. “We slept in the dirt in below-freezing weather and baked in heavy flak vests when the temperature topped 125 degrees. We have survived on military rations and gone weeks without showers. We have spent months away from our wives and children. We have done all this to bring Wall Street Journal readers smart, intimate coverage of the wars the United States is waging.”

What thanks do they get? “Dow Jones wants us to accept a wage freeze for 2003”– there’s been no contract since last May 1 – “a 2.5 percent raise for 2004 and 3 percent in 2005. We write for a financial newspaper. We understand these raises are below inflation and constitute real pay cuts.” Meanwhile, Jaffe added, the company CEO’s compensation rose 58 percent from 2002 to 2003.

According to a report from Reuters, a large number of Journal reporters, including those with front-page articles and some columnists, are withholding their bylines from the paper this week to protest proposed wage terms and cuts to health care benefits.