Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not Really Naming Names on Stella D'Oro

The lead editorial in the NY Daily News today focuses on the lack of support for the bakery workers at the now closed Stell D'Doro factory in the Bronx-and blames, not the mayor by name, but the Working Families Party and, "city hall," for the failure to aggressively fight the plant's closure: "The closure of the Stella D'Oro baking plant in the Bronx left the members of almost 150 working families without solid paychecks and health benefits after an extraordinarily tough labor battle. Surely, the Working Families Party - vaunted political arm of the unions - rallied to the cause of these blue-collar victims of the downward spiral of the paycheck class. Actually, no."

Calling out the WFP on this is, well, a good call; but what about the biggest bully and his pulpit? Here's how the News calls him out: "And labor had company in abandoning them. The state and city governments, which gallop to the rescue with multimillion-dollar packages to stem shifts in Wall Street jobs, offered nothing beyond routine contract mediation. More was needed. Started in 1922, Stella D'Oro prospered as a family-owned firm. In 1992, Nabisco bought the company, with 575 unionized workers and $65 million in annual sales."

But naming is shaming, and the leaving out of Mike Bloomberg's personal culpability here itself shameful on the News' part: "No one - not the WFP, City Hall or Albany - stepped up to work out an agreement that might have made the plant reasonably profitable while preserving as much as possible in pay and benefits."

Right about at this point, the Daily News should have at least lightly mocked the Bloomberg "five borough economic plan," and called the mayor to task-as it did the WFP-by name. Just another example of the dereliction of local editorialists when it comes to our own 800 pound gorilla-and Bloomberg feels that we don't need a public advocate because, "we have an aggressive enough press." Well, he would say that, now wouldn't he?