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Whoa, Washington Post Express Shutting Down

From the Washington Post PR:

“The Washington Post will publish the last edition of its Express commuter paper as of Thursday, September 12. Express has been an integral part of the morning commute for Washingtonians–a lively, highly engaging publication that has served Washington’s Metro riders for years. With the growth of WiFi in Washington’s Metro system, The Post can now serve those readers in ways that couldn’t have been imagined when it launched 16 years ago.

More and more readers are consuming The Post’s content digitally, and The Post will continue to serve those who commute via Metro with digital products, including its mobile site, apps, newsletters and podcasts.

Express was created in 2003 to give Metro readers a quick-read newspaper in a smaller format they could easily read during their morning ride to work. With this change, The Post plans to offer Express readers a 60-day, free trial for unlimited digital access to The Washington Post.”

Update

From the Washington Post Guild:

The Washington Post Newspaper Guild is outraged by the abrupt announcement today that Washington Post Express will close and 20 of our friends and colleagues will be laid off.

This announcement came the day before operations ceased, with no advance warning.

These employees, many of them young women, performed the same jobs as other staff in our newsroom for substantially lesser pay. They published our journalism, and we published theirs. They were excluded from a union contract that would have protected them only by legal and bureaucratic fictions that labeled them a different entity within our company, though Post Express and The Washington Post are both owned by Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world.

Earlier this year, a number of Express employees recognized this disparity and explored unionizing — and they had not given up on that hope. When these layoffs came, without a union, our colleagues in Express were not guaranteed the same protections as guild-covered Washington Post employees.

They were called into a meeting midday on Wednesday with management, where they were informed their jobs were being eliminated and that Washington Post Express would cease publication Thursday. An announcement from the company about the layoffs was posted online before Express employees left the meeting or could notify their loved ones.

Then our Express colleagues returned to their desks to do what Express has done for 16 years: they put together a paper.

We hope Washington Post management will honor this dedication to our journalistic mission and find employment in our newsroom for our colleagues now without jobs.

The Post Guild is determined to ensure that employees at this company are treated with fairness, dignity and respect. We seek to represent all Post workers and encourage every employee not currently covered by our contract who thinks they should be to contact us at [email protected].”

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