To Zuade Kaufman: I want to register my strongest possible disagreement with your unilateral decisions to bar me from the Truthdig site, close the site, and discharge Truthdig's employees. Each of your actions represents a violation of Truthdig's Operating Agreement, which requires that you and I agree on actions such as those you have taken on your own. To make myself clear, you have not consulted me, and I disagree. Although you claim that your actions have been required by Truthdig's shaky financial situation, it appears that you have not taken into account funds that have been raised from third parties to support Truthdig. My understanding is that those funds are sufficient to continue Truthdig's operations, although perhaps at a reduced level.
On Wednesday night, amid reports that much of the country was going into quarantine indefinitely, Truthdig's staff received an email with the subject line "Re: Truthdig." The email was to inform us that Truthdig LLC was being dissolved and that our positions at the publication had been terminated. Chris Hedges, the site's most widely read columnist, was among those fired, despite the fact that he raised grant money to cover his own salary. "Thank you for all you've done at Truthdig," an attached form letter read. "We really appreciate your contributions. We did great work together. We wish you the best in your future endeavors. Be well and stay safe." Two weeks prior, we had begun a work stoppage at the website to protest unfair labor conditions, promising to return to work if Truthdig's publisher, Zuade Kaufman, committed to negotiate with us in good faith.
On March 16, those participating in Truthdig's work stoppage wrote directly to publisher Zuade Kaufman and Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer. We invited them to participate in a conference call on March 17 to begin negotiations to restore Robert Scheer as Editor-in-Chief and to address unfair labor practices, opening a potential path that would allow us to return to work. Mr. Scheer, as co-owner of Truthdig, agreed to speak with us. We received no reply from Ms. Kaufman. She has also not attempted to communicate with the copy desk staff, who joined in the work stoppage. This morning, March 17, Truthdig posted a letter by Ms. Kaufman titled "Open Letter from Truthdig' s Publisher & CEO: Breaking My Silence."