Columbian newspaper boycott presses forward


A month-old boycott of the Columbian newspaper called by the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council has gotten the attention of publisher Scott Campbell.

A coalition of union leaders from eight locals was asked to meet with Campbell, editor Lou Brancaccio, and editorial page editor John Laird March 23 to air their concerns.

The Southwest Washington Central Labor Council called for a boycott in February, citing the newspaper’s blatant disregard for covering labor events and constantly editorializing against public employee unions and union-endorsed politicians.

“They didn’t understand that. They objected to the assertion,” said Shannon Walker, president of the Labor Council, in her report to delegates at the Council’s monthly meeting March 24.

Since being placed on the “Do Not Patronize” list, members and allied organizations have canceled subscriptions, including Fire Fighters locals that stopped having the newspaper delivered to fire stations. The Northwest Oregon Labor Council and the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, both of Portland, but with members who live in Washington, also passed resolution in support of the boycott.

The resolution calls for the boycott to continue through July 31, 2011. In August, the labor council will revisit the issue to determine whether or not the newspaper has expanded its coverage “to represent all of the community.” If it has, the boycott will be withdrawn.

Until then, Walker is encouraging union members and allies to cancel subscriptions, with a note explaining why. She also is asking union members to write letters to the editor and publisher explaining why they are canceling.

“If you’re not a subscriber, write or call them and tell them why you don’t subscribe,” she said.

To cancel a subscription, call 360-694-2312. Send letters to the editor to [email protected].


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