Union NO?

March 9th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a specific Journal headline is biased or misbegotten.

A front-page story in the Journal’s Business Outlook section March 8 dealt with those “Shame On” banners becoming common in Albuquerque.
Reporter Rivkela Brodsky told us the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, based in Los Angeles, is behind them. But the carpenters’ organization won’t explain why it hires workers to hold the banners in front of hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

Why not? It’s certainly a reasonable question; apparently, some of the enterprises targeted have nothing to be ashamed of.
Brodsky’s story is lengthy, detailed and seems fair, as do two sidebars. My bias is pro-union but I came away thinking the Carpenters are disserving organized labor.

So why did the Journal headline the (page 7) jump, “Union campaign irks community”? It smacks of piling on.

And there’s nothing in Ms. Brodsky’s narrative to justify it. A builder did comment, “This is a black eye on our entire community,” but that’s different.
Did an editor pluck the rubric from a computer file labeled “Anti-union heads, generic”?

Journal management dislikes organized labor, so this may be editorializing–by-headline. Alternatively, it may be the work of an editor who doesn’t know how to write headlines.

I cannot tell which.

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