Can you fine folks help me out here

So I was looking up the date of a strike this week at work and depending on which search engine I used, got two different results. I wonder if anyone else would do this same search and tell me what you get?

The search term to use is “Merita bread strike” and I’ve searched in Yahoo, Google, Duck Duck Go, and (even!) Bing. If anyone else wouldn’t mind doing this and seeing what you come up with, I’d appreciate it. If you get the same result (you’ll know what it is when you see it) I did from my work computer in Yahoo and on my home computer with both Bing and Duck Duck Go, I’d like to know!



Google [ho hum, nothing to see]
DuckDuckGo [WOOAHHHH!!!]
Yahoo [DITTO!!!]

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Yeah, I got the same thing as you two.

Google: Squat
DDG, Yahoo, and Bing: Wow, that first listing.

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Similar, but DDG and Google gave me nothing.

DDG, nowt


Google finds you first:



Doing it without the quotes, I see what you and @LDoBe are getting at. Ick. Get that rockymounttelegram link with all except teh googs.


I got a racial slur,and a link that leads nowhere. The site that publishes it has the following robots.txt

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

which seems rather a broad brush

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Okay… glad to know it’s not just my searching fingers that seem racist…

@jerwin, I got the same link to nowhere (not that I wanted to click on the link, but I did, none the less)…

So, what do you guys think is happening here?


Wikipedia gives a definitive end date though is less helpful for the start date.

Merita is a brand of breads that was produced by Hostess Brands and now produced by Flowers Foods, available throughout the Southeastern United States until November 16, 2012, when Hostess’s management decided to liquidate Hostess. The company gave as their reason for this action that they had been crippled by a strike by BCTGM, the bakers’ union.[1] Union spokespersons attributed the company’s situation to poor management over a long period of years.[2]

That’s interesting. What’s the project?

It’s actually an earlier strike, in the 1970s not this more recent one. I was writing the website copy for an oral history interview for a labor organizer from Georgia. He worked for the AFofL-CIO as an organizer beginning in the 60s and was sent to help out in a strike in North Carolina at Merita. It was more curiosity, trying to pin down the year it happened. I was just utterly shocked when I saw that link…


Content warning for racist assholes.

found via this google cache of a / “news” network hate forums (name deliberately messed up to foil the searchbots). Here’s the wiki on that cesspool.

My guess is at one point they were a top referrer to the Rocky Mountain Telegram URL, which lead their racist title to supersede the article title.

Thus, I suspect the differences between the search engines is how the utilize the words that get hyperlinked combined with how they filter out and suppress awful shit.


That sounds like the job I wish I had! (Btw, which link was shocking?)

Now I’m curious what happened too. Can we jump to half-baked conclusions generate working hypotheses?

Per our late departed friend, Dr. Bagdikian, there’s a general blackout on labor reporting and labor news. On the other hand, that trend really started accelerating in the 80s, after the event would have been reported. But could the news stories have been omitted from digital archives? Delayed?

Or was there a legal settlement and consent or other decree to resolve the strike issues that may provide some insights?

Where did the strike happen? Are there any accounts of it we can read for background?

Lucky, @Mindysan33! Go get 'em!! :smiley_cat:

I’ll have to go back to the oral history and tell you… It’s been a while since I read it originally. I do remember it was somewhere in NC, but not sure what city off the top of my head. That might give you an idea of where to look, as far as newspaper archives. At some point, many of these oral histories will go up online and be accessible to the public and searchable. I think the archivist I’m working for wants this stuff to be up in the next year or two. But you can always go to the website and see what she already has up and digitized with regards to the labor collection:

[ETA] I’d guess that the shift to ignoring labor unrest really came after the PATCO strike fiasco in 1980. Pretty much from there on out, people felt they could come down harder on organized labor… the president did it to the one union which backed his candidacy, so why not… But yeah, there is very little news on organized labor anymore. The last big stories I remember was the big port strike out west and the attempt by Boeing to move to SC, which the Labor Board nixed…

It’s just too bad it’s only for the semester and not a full time gig!

Oh, the link was found in some search engines to say a racial slur (not a problem in Google, but Bing, Yahoo, and Duck Duck Go all had it). @jerwin has a screen shot, but the link doesn’t go anywhere. I think @funruly probably has the best explanation for why some of us were getting that result in our searches…

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Ah. I see it now. DDG’d the phrase without quotes.

Not sure if this is what you are looking for - did you find this already? (Text is OCR of newsprint, so a bit garbled in places. Bolded terms of your interest.)

Thursday Dec. 22, 1977
The Index-Journal Greenwood, S.C.
SECOND FRONT Strike begins early shutdown erf former’s market Christmas, and supplies at this time year are usually light. But the early shutdown this year obviously reflected the effects of the strike. . Farmers seeking 100 per cent parity for their products were to hold a statewide meeting this afternoon in Orangeburg to set priorities and plan the direction of their protest. - Robert Connelly of Allendale, a leader of the Palmetto state demonstrations were called for at four other bakeries across South Carolina by the state American Agriculture office. CM. “Mac” Thompson, leader of the Florence picketing, said he received a call from the state AA office asking him to organize the demonstration as part of the statewide effort. He said the picketers were on hand from 3 to 5 p.m. at American Bakery, which makes Merita bread. strike, said Wednesday so many organizations have offered to help , the farmers that “we could shut the state of South Carolina down overnight” Wednesday, the protest began, spreading to South Carolina bakeries. Members of the Darlington County and Florence County chapters of American Agriculture (AA) picketed the American Bakery in Florence. Similar By The Associated Press , The effects of the strike by South Carolina farmers were evident Thursday by a virtual shutdown of sales at stockyards and a lack of fresh produce at the State Farmers Market in Columbia. The South Carolina Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, which issues daily reports on livestock and fresh vegetable prices, said supplies of produce at Grocery chain compared the farmers market were too light to establish prices. - A spokesman also said no report on stockyard activity will be available until after Christmas, and maybe not until the first of the new year. The large open-air market on Columbia’s outskirts, where farmers bring truckloads of vegetables for direct sale to consumers and retailers, normally closes for a few days over fo J.P. Stevens national AFL-CIO Labor Council. James Adler, chairman of the AFL-CIOs South Carolina Labor Council, compared Winn-Dixie to J.P. Stevens, a huge Greenville-based textile firm that has developed a national reputation for fighting unionism. Adler says the boycott will become effective as soon as the executive board of the council can meet and get the boycott machinery working. Labor organizing Winn-Dixie boycott By The Associated Press A boycott of the Winn-Dixie chain, which one labor official has called “the J.P. Stevens of the grocery industry,” is being organized by labor leaders in North Carolina and South Carolina. The planned boycott is part of a , nationwide action against the giant Southeastern food store chain, approved recently by the happy and that half of them own company stock. Davis said he feels the wages of Winn-Dixie workers are comparable to those paid according to union scales. Labor officials in both states indicated some Winn-Dixie stores will be picketed, but in most places labor representatives will hand out leaflets describing their problems and urging a consumer boycott.


Yes, this sounds like the right strike! You’re google-fu is better than mine! I had gone back through the oral history and didn’t see a date (maybe I missed it).

@hello_friends, here is a link about it. I’ll look at the oral history on Wednesday and let you know what the interviewee had to say about it, if you like.


I suspected this might be a Google shenanigan with regard to what things Google thinks you believe and want to see so I popped it into Incognito and the results were actually pretty decent … though only about the 2012 strike.

That super awful sounding Rocky Mount one doesn’t show up with the same headline on either of my searches (though my results were pretty much even between both; for science I did the search in incognito first).

When I tried to open that link it was on its way to timing out so I switched the HTTPS to HTTP and got this instead of the article:

Their robots.txt file seems to have kept both Google and from backing up the original article.

Looks like @funruly has had more success than I have on finding the 1970s version. xD


Google was the only one the offending word didn’t show up in… I think the rest of us saw it in the Bing, Yahoo, or Duck Duck Go search (you have to search without quotation marks, it seems). Google is fine, though. Maybe they just do better with weeding this sort of stuff out? I don’t know…

when I saw it, it just shocked me, so I wanted to see if anyone else go similar results.

I use Duck Duck Go as my first search for most of my non-research related search needs but hadn’t tried it there. DDG is showing the same results for me as it was for you. Oddly enough, other stories on the same site related to the same event also do the timeout thing.

Whoa. I came alarmingly close to moving to Rocky Mount a year and a half ago and apparently there are some serious shenanigans going on there.

Anyway, more topically relevant, I found an NLRB thing that may be relevant to your research. Although if it turns out to be a dead end, I probably won’t bring it up again unless I find something else that is relevant. D:

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@funruly had a plausible explanation for why this was happening, I think, some shithead racists… He also found a newspaper story that gave me a date! Yay!


It looks like @funruly unruly has already provided you the information you need and I’m working on a computer that’s pretty slow but I’m checking archival news sources through a major university library–searching ProQuest, ABI Inform, etc.

I’m not finding anything at the moment but I’m happy to offer my library fu for this and future projects.

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