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Suicides and Sabotage at the LA Times

Frying Pan News’ Steven Mikulan just posted quite the exit interview with recently fired LA Times blogging pressman Ed Padgett. The Times cited Padgett for “suspicion of sabotage” among other reasons for letting him go. Which sounds absolutely insane. Mikulan delves a little deeper.

Shortly after Padgett’s firing there was a “Christmas purge” of workers, followed by a “New Years Purge.”

“Those folks each got $20,000 in severance,” Padgett claims. “Two of the fellows were let go two weeks early because they were worried about sabotage. They’re so paranoid, because it’s not just my department — it includes editorial.”

Padgett believes it’s possible there’s some reality behind the company’s fears. A Teamster email he posted on his blog in December warned members against engaging in sabotage — while denying such behavior. But what does that ultimately say about a company that its employees would harm the source of their livelihoods?

Padgett also says that two recently fired Times employees have committed suicide in the past few months–an operations plant worker and a company truck driver. Terrible, terrible news. Especially in the context of Tribune Company’s plans to give management big, fat, out-of-the-blue bonuses.

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