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  • Writer's pictureRuss Newton

Trust. This is for my LA Times Press Employee readers.

Guys, this is Kenny Leffel and his wife. A press employee and the head of the Union that was at the Daily Press when I took over as press manager in 1987. I worked with him for four months and he decided to trust me and he lead the effort to decertifiy the union. That was successful and the press room immediately received all the same benefits as the non union employees (including a 401 K match), a 7 % average merit increase and and averaged 4% merit every year after that for my entire seven year tenure. I kept my word then and I would have done my best to do the same in LA if enough of you trusted me. But you didn't. So, here is real life example of what happened when employees trusted me.

It was nice to catch up with Kenny and his wife. After a couple of hours of conversation, Kenny I headed over to Wayne Pollards house (He was a press manager for me when I was there) and talked for a couple of more hours. It was good to catch up with both of them and recall some good memories.


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For almost three-and-one-half of my four-full-decades at The Times, it was not required that pressroom people conduct themselves as full grown, adult, rational, responsible human beings. Many did anyway, most did not.

One day, everything changed and the vast amounts of revenue that enabled such pampering went away. When the pampering went away, a majority chose not to recognize and deal with the new, real world. They sought ways to bring back the old world, which in reality… was a shield from reality.

Arriving when you did Russ, much of the "heavy lifting" of cultural change fell upon you. I believe any objective person that can recount your years as VP has to admit you did the right things.


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