A Union Battle at an Anti-Union Bastion

Labor News

The Los Angeles Times’s offices in Los Angeles. Credit Emily Berl for The New York Times

Reprinted from The New York Times by 

The Los Angeles Times has been a bulwark against union organizing for more than a century, since General Harrison Gray Otis acquired part-ownership of the company in 1884 — helping to shape not only a powerful newspaper but Los Angeles itself. Two union organizers set off a bomb at the paper’s downtown headquarters in 1910, killing 20 people, a bloody event that is integral to the paper’s history.

The newspaper stayed in the Otis-Chandler family until The Tribune Company took control in 2000. Now, with the paper controlled by Tronc, which is based in Chicago, what once seemed unthinkable is about to happen: The newsroom is going to vote next week on whether to join The NewsGuild, which represents 25,000 reporters, editors and photographers across the nation.

“Anyone who knows the history of Los Angeles knows what a big deal this is,” said Matt Pearce, a national correspondent with the paper and a member of the organizing committee. “General Otis must be rolling over in his grave.” …

NY Times 12/29

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About Jeffrey Burman 5296 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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