Following the July sale of the Union-Tribune to Alden Global Capital, dark prognostications abounded. The hedge fund is the most feared villain in the American newspaper world.
We commissioned former Voice of San Diego editor Andrew Donohue to do a dive into what happened and what he could find about plans for the future of the paper.
The paper may actually last longer: That is, the paper paper. The LA billionaire Patrick Soon Shiong, who sold the paper, in the process abandoned the pursuit Editor and Publisher Jeff Light was on to move the paper into the digital age. Light’s idea was to phase out the printed paper but the new owners may want to keep it longer, produce it with much fewer journalists and squeeze as much profit out of it as possible before it’s no longer worth printing.
But it didn’t have to be like this. The sale to the journalistic chop shop came after a period of relative stability and profitability under Soon Shiong’s ownership. Plans were developed to usher the U-T into a new digital age, and reporters felt the paper was doing some of its best work. But while the Los Angeles billionaire has repeatedly testified to his commitment to the LA Times, he never had the same affinity for the red headed step child to the south.
UC San Diego Drops Grad Worker Administrative Violations
Late last year, nearly 50,000 unionized University of California employees walked off the job. But even after a record-setting six week strike and a landmark deal, UC San Diego grad workers still had beef with the way the university implemented their contract.
That’s why back in May a group of grad workers staged a protest at an alumni event at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Arts. They took the stage, chanted slogans and presented Chancellor Pradeep Khosla with a cardboard sign that read “the most overpaid worker.”
That act of civil disobedience didn’t sit well with the university, which levied serious administrative violations against more than 60 grad workers. The three violations workers were hit with included allegations of physical assault, a charge the workers vehemently denied. But the content of the violations wasn’t the only thing the workers opposed – they said about a third of those hit with the violations hadn’t even attended the protest. An additional three workers were arrested and held overnight on charges of felony vandalism and conspiracy to commit a crime.
From the start workers viewed the violations as retaliation and an attempt to stifle their organizing momentum and in August, California’s labor regulatory agency, PERB, found merit in the grad workers’ claims and issued a complaint against UCSD.
Now, nearly six months later, the grad workers say the administrative violations have been dropped against all workers.
In a joint statement with United Auto Workers 2865, the union that represents grad workers, UCSD officials wrote that the union had “agreed to accept the accountability proposed by the University.” As part of the agreement, the union recognized that future protests must be peaceful and “consistent with standards for appropriate labor actions.”
The union also expressed regret for the protest actions and that the discourse created may have creative negative impressions about UCSD.
In a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, grad worker and union organizer Maya Gosztyla celebrated the dropping of administrative violations.
“UC’s attempt to chill our organizing has backfired. We’re more energized than ever to keep fighting to enforce our contracts,” Gosztyla wrote. “This is a major victory not just for our union, but for all workers. We’ve shown our employer what happens when they try to retaliate against workers.”
Song of the Week
Trit95’s fuzzy, lofi synthwave isn’t a bold, new musical innovation. Plenty of bands swim in similar musical waters. But what makes Trit95 so special is just how effortless it all feels. Music like this infects, blooms and breathes. It feels like something out of a memory: all hazy summers, late nights spent smoking cigarettes in the park with friends who’ll soon grow distant and the all-consuming limerence of that first wobbly love.
Trit 95, “Forever”: “Forever” is one of those songs that you don’t so much listen to, as much as you fall into. It’s propulsive and rich. Trit95’s songs about longing and love (of which there are no shortage) have the unique ability to make my weary heart flutter. But at just over two minutes, “Forever” is over far too soon. The only thing to do is press play again.
Like what you hear? Catch Trit95 along with fellow local new wavers Mannequin at Tower Bar on Saturday.
Do you have a “Song of the Week” suggestion? Shoot us an email and a sentence or two about why you’ve been bumping this song lately. Friendly reminder: all songs should be by local artists.
In Other News
- Police are still searching for a gunman who opened fire in a Chula Vista restaurant Saturday night. The Union-Tribune has more details on the shooting.
- KPBS reports that a former Navy civilian employee at the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, or NAVWAR, pleaded guilty to bribery charges.
- NBC 7 has the latest on new state health guidelines for when a student exposed to Covid should stay home or go to school.
The Morning Report was written by Jakob McWhinney and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.