Monday, June 8, 2009

Once, a bishop brought newspapers peace

From the Boston Globe-

Monday is a big day here at the Globe: the paper’s largest union, the Newspaper Guild, is scheduled to vote on proposed wage and benefits cuts that the company says are neeeded to keep the struggling paper afloat. As the prospect of labor unrest at the paper looms, a friend who works for the Episcopal Church called my attention to the memoir of Bishop William Lawrence (right), the so-called banker-bishop, who claims to have brokered peace between Boston’s newspaper publishers and their employees a century ago.

Lawrence, who served as the Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts from 1893 to 1927, was cut from a different cloth than most of today’s prelates. He was the scion of an immensely wealthy, influential and philanthropic Boston family that made a fortune in textiles, founded the cities of Lawrence, Mass. and Lawrence, Kansas, and had a long association with Harvard University and the Episcopal Church. Bishop Lawrence travelled in elite circles – he was a familiar of Theodore Roosevelt and a visitor to Buckingham Palace. So when he was called in to arbitrate the pay dispute in the newspaper industry, he immersed himself in the unfamiliar workplace before working out a deal.

More here-

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