Employees of Haaretz called a partial work stoppage on Sunday night, shutting
down the paper for around two hours in the first such action by employees as
they face a round of layoffs.
Shouting “No newspaper without
journalists,” the employees of Haaretz and TheMarker blocked Schocken Street
outside the paper’s headquarters in south Tel Aviv, and demanded answers about
the size and scope of the impending layoffs.
Uri Tuval, a member of the
papers’ workers committee, said employees don’t know exactly how many employees
will be laid off, only that they have been told by management that around 80 of
the 400 employees of Haaretz and The Marker will be fired soon, and that they
don’t believe the story will end there.
“Their plan to save the paper is
through terminations, but we believe they’ll see that that doesn’t do the job
and there will be another round of layoffs down the road,” he said.
added that while the workers understand the financial trouble facing Haaretz
publisher Amos Schocken and how hard it is to keep a paper open in this day and
age, they believe that in lieu of layoffs, the paper should launch an aggressive
campaign to gain more subscribers, largely through reaching out to readers who
access the paper’s content for free online on its Hebrew website.
meantime, it appears the paper’s management is committed to a large number of
terminations, in keeping with the bleak climate in the Israeli media which is
expected to see around 1,500 of Ma’ariv’s 2,000 employees let go soon, and
barring intervention from the government or a wealthy patron, the closure of
On Sunday night, one veteran Haaretz journalist looked out at
the crowd of around 100 and said, “This protest is more of a funeral procession,
we’re working in a profession that’s dying out.”