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Los Angeles Times Guild Initiates One-Day Walkout to Protest Expected Layoffs

Los Angeles Times guild stages 1-day walkout in protest of anticipated layoffs

Members of the Los Angeles Times Guild staged a walkout on Friday to protest anticipated layoffs, marking the first work stoppage by the newsroom union in the newspaper’s 143-year history.

Journalists from the paper, along with their supporters, gathered in an LA civic center park for a rally. They chanted and brandished signs with slogans like “Don’t Cut Our Future.” The guild announced plans to extend their protests to other cities.

In a statement, the guild revealed that the Times is preparing to lay off a “significant” number of journalists. However, the exact figure remains undisclosed as management insists on conducting negotiations in off-the-record meetings. The guild also expressed concerns that the paper intends to dismantle seniority protections.

Los Angeles Times Guild Initiates One-Day Walkout to Protest Expected Layoffs

Los Angeles Times Guild Initiates One-Day Walkout to Protest Expected Layoffs (Credits: WJTV)

The Los Angeles Times came under the ownership of biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in 2018, marking a return to local ownership two decades after it was sold to Tribune Co. The acquisition generated optimism amidst years of downsizing, declining circulation, and leadership changes.

The recent departure of Executive Editor Kevin Merida after a 2 1/2-year tenure added to the uncertainty. In June, the newsroom witnessed a reduction of more than 70 positions, constituting approximately 13% of the workforce.

A representative from the Times indicated that revenue projections were under evaluation, and expenses were undergoing thorough scrutiny. “We need to reduce our operating budget going into this year and anticipate layoffs,” explained spokeswoman Hillary Manning in a statement.

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