L.A. Times union walks out in protest of ‘substantial’ coming job cuts

Over 300 members of the Los Angeles Times Guild staged a one-day walkout in multiple cities Friday following an announcement from management about plans to lay off a “significant” portion of its journalists.

Guild leadership held a rally in Gloria Molina Grand Park near City Hall in Los Angeles, while other staffers joined the one-day strike from Sacramento, Washington and other locations.

It was the first newsroom union work stoppage for the Times since it started printing in 1881, according to a statement from the Guild, which represents about 400 editorial employees at the Times.

According to the Times’ own reporting, the cuts stem from offsetting steep financial losses that owner Patrick Soon-Shiong has absorbed since acquiring the paper almost six years ago. The proposed layoffs are the third round of cuts since June, when more than 70 positions, or about 13 percent of the newsroom, were removed. Last week, executive editor Kevin Merida abruptly resigned amid tensions with Soon-Shiong, the Times reported.

Negotiation meetings have occurred off the record, so the Guild is unable to say how many members are in danger of losing their jobs, according to the statement, which described the number as “substantial.”