Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

LA Times newsroom votes to unionize after long fight with management

LA Times newsroom votes to unionize after long fight with management

The report said that in 2001 Levinsohn worked as an executive with Alta Vista, a search engine company, and was the defendant in a gender discrimination and sexual harassment case.

"This week, the company learned of allegations of inappropriate behavior by Ross Levinsohn", Tronc Chief Executive Justin. "We are immediately launching an investigation so that we have a better understanding of what's occurred". "We remain committed to ensuring that the Los Angeles Times is a leading source for news and information and to producing the award-winning journalism our readers rely on". "A man who sexually harasses women, engages in "slut-shaming" and refers to gay men as "f**s" is not fit to lead our newspaper".

Tronc began the investigation after a National Public Radio story Thursday detailed two sexual harassment lawsuits that named Levinsohn while he worked at Alta Vista and News Corp, as well as complaints from employees who said he fostered a fraternity-like atmosphere. The guild is an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America union, which has been organizing at the Times since late 2016. The long-complicated relationship between company and company town was highlighted by last fall's ban of Times journalists by Disney in the wake of an investigative series about Disneyland and its close ties with the city of Anaheim.

As the LA Times continues to cover one of the biggest news stories to grip an industry in its own backyard - Hollywood - the paper will now have to grapple with also being under a lens of scrutiny, the reporter pointed out.

"At Tronc, we expect all employees to act in a way that supports a culture of diversity and inclusion", the spokeswoman said.

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As of this writing, Levinsohn has not been suspended and is still working at the paper. Levinsohn reportedly cut his appearance at an industry event in the Los Angeles area short, allegedly telling an executive for the Hollywood Reporter that he didn't want to "hang out with with a bunch of ladies and fags".

The organizing committee also demanded an independent probe into how Levinsohn was hired given his documented history of misconduct, and "whether he acted inappropriately toward Times employees during his tenure as publisher; and how the company and board have responded previously to allegations of sexual misconduct by newspaper leaders". But a recent effort to unionize has been prompted by concerns over finances, staff cutbacks and management turnover, according to the newspaper.

For the Times, the largest newspaper on the West Coast, the vote was historic.

A vote tally on Friday at a National Labor Relations Board office in downtown Los Angeles counted 248 staffers in favor of unionization and 44 against. The Los Angeles Times newsroom has never been represented by a union.

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