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LA Times Guild says paper's layoffs 'didn't have to be this way,' minorities 'disproportionately affected'

The Los Angeles Times Guild responded to the company's layoffs on Tuesday in a statement and said that it "did not have to be this way."

The Los Angeles Times Guild reacted to the layoffs at the paper on Tuesday, saying in a statement that it "did not have to be this way." 

The paper laid off 115 people, according to reports. 

"For the rest of the 94 LAT Guild members still facing layoff, it did not have to be this way," the LAT Guild wrote in a statement. 

The Guild went on a one-day strike on Friday, responding to the layoff announcement by the LA Times. The statement also said the company "reneged on its promises to diversify its ranks since young journalists of color have been disproportionately affected."

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"The Black, AAPI, and Latino Caucuses have suffered devastating losses. Voluntary buyouts could have helped prevent this, but that's not the path the company chose," the statement continued. 

The LA Times Guild wrote that the staffing cuts were the result of the absence of a publisher, "middling strategy," and "no clear direction."

Last week’s one-day strike was the Times’ first "union-organized work stoppage in the paper’s 142-year history," according to entertainment reporter Meg James, who also said at the time that anxiety was "widespread" in the newsroom. 

"The proposed layoffs will mark the third round of cuts since June, when more than 70 positions, or about 13% of the newsroom, were trimmed," James wrote. 

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A group of California Democrats, including Rep. Adam Schiff, expressed concern for the layoffs in the hopes of saving the struggling paper. 

In a letter to the paper's ownership and union, the Democratic lawmakers said they were writing as members of Congress who represent constituents who rely on the "invaluable reporting" provided by the Los Angeles Times. 

The lawmakers said, "preserving democracy is contingent upon a free and robust press, and the LA Times has been instrumental in upholding this democratic principle."

Kevin Merida, the executive editor of The LA Times, announced in early January that he would be stepping down after a less than three-year tenure.

"I am proud of what we accomplished together during my tenure here, and grateful to Patrick Soon-Shiong and family for the opportunity to help transform The Times into a modern, innovative news media company for a new generation of consumers," he said in a statement.

Fox News' Brian Flood and Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.

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