Friday, December 15, 2006

Divide and Conquer is nothing new. The Company has been doing this to us for years. By discriminating against "strong union supporters" in the form of restricting access to their Anti-Employee meetings, they create yet another example of division amongst our peers.

It's not that we are "strong" supporters" but rather we will dispute their lies and make their message ineffective. That is why they prefer we not be present while they weave their web of deceit.

What do they have to hide?
Everything! Most of their information is not intended to educate but rather confuse and invoke fear! They are not trying to save "US" from the big bad Union, They are trying to save themselves from the big bad Union!

Does their decision to eliminate certain individuals from meetings make you wonder why? Russ Newton should not speak for me and assume I'm not interested in listening to what they are telling you all. I have a responsibility to know everthing they say and do in order to provide an oppossing Union perspective on their comments.

Management resorts to tactics such as this when they become desperate and are unsure of just how strong we are. I will make it easy for them, because we all know they come to our site often:
"WE ARE A MAJORITY" and not deterred by your feeble attempts to silence our voices! Your decision to discriminate us has only made our voice louder and increased the size of our audience. Thank you, and continue to hold meetings with, or without the strong union supporters because we gain more support and strength everytime you do.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

UNION JOBS BETTER? Count the ways

A new report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) details the difference collective bargaining can make in workers' lives. According to a Voice@Work update:

Eighty-eight percent of private-sector union workers have access to retirement benefits through their jobs, compared with only 56 percent of non-union workers.

Seventy-three percent of union workers have access to defined-benefit pension plans, compared with 16 percent of nonunion workers.

Ninety-two percent of union workers have access to job-based health care benefits, compared with 68 percent of non-union workers.

Seventy-three percent of union workers have access to job-provided dental care, 57 percent have vision care and 87 percent have prescription drug coverage, compared with 43 percent, 26 percent and 61 percent among non-union workers, respectively.

Nonunion workers' required health insurance premiums were over $1,000 more per year than what union workers had to contribute, on average.

Union workers also are more likely than non-union workers to have access to job-based life insurance (65 percent vs. 50 percent) and short-term disability benefits (67 percent vs. 37 percent).

Eighty-seven percent of union members have access to paid holidays and 86 percent had paid vacations, compared with 75 percent and 77 percent of non-union workers, respectively.

Fifty-eight percent of union workers are offered education benefits, compared with 48 percent of nonunion workers.

To download the full report, log on to the Voice@Work PrivateNet website.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

October 5, 2006

Dear Mr. Pineda:

Thank you for contacting me about the pending decision by the
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) pertaining to the definition of a
supervisor for private-sector nurses. I appreciate hearing from you
welcome the opportunity to respond.

Like you, I believe it is important that American workers have
the right to organize. In 2001, the United States Supreme Court ruled
NLRB v. Kentucky River Community Care, Inc. that the NLRB had erred
in its previous interpretation of Federal law by allowing nurses at the
Kentucky River facility to join a labor union. The Court's decision
determined that health care workers in private hospitals could not join
labor organizations if they drew upon their professional or technical
judgment in directing less-skilled employees to deliver services.
be assured that I recognize your concern that the NLRB's new definition
could potentially affect not only nurses, but supervisory definitions
other professions, and I will continue to closely monitor this

Once again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to
keep me informed on issues of importance to you. If you have any
additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my
Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to
California and the Nation are available at my website You can also receive electronic e-mail
updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at

Monday, October 16, 2006


Why is it that certain non-union supporters find it difficult to show
union supporters the same respect that they receive.

We all have a right to our views and realize that not everyone is going to agree with each other and that's fine. We cannot expect everyone to see things the way each of us may see things and that's fine too.

When we begin to attack each other for opposing views, (as we have seen on the websites in comments by the non-union supporters) we create further division, and that is exactly what management wants.

Union supporters have been referred to as "pastermakers","lazy" and "whiners"
The scope of supporters are from all positions in our pressrooms, and are some of the hardest working, committed and dedicated pressmen and women in our shops.

I still cannot understand what these individuals hope to accomplish by making anonymous comments that do not address any of our direct issues. They only go after certain supporters for no intelligent reason. If they think that bashing supporters on the internet will gain them favor with this corporation, they are sadly mistaken!

This Company is loyal to none!

Please don't allow management to manipulate you for their benefit, they will dump you a hundred times faster than they did Jeff Johnson! No one is safe! I can't save myself, and neither can you, but together we can save eachother!

Stop attacking eachother and focus on the real enemy, Management! They are the responsible parties for all that we have had to endure. It's time for you to take responsibility for your trade and stand up for yourself and your family.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

From Dave Rascon

In the weeks ahead management will intensify their union busting campaign. You have all been here before and know what a NO vote gets you. When a company hires a union buster it costs them money. But its money well spent for the company because in the long run, if it keeps you from getting a contract for three or four years, they would have made the union busters fee back and then some. On Tuesday 9/26/06 the SCABS FOR HIRE notice came out, whether this was orchestrated is unknown yet, but it sure feels like it was, maybe I’m wrong, we'll see.

You never see the union buster, but he is there. He coaches upper management on what to say and how to say it, what to write and how to write it. Then in turn upper management coaches pressroom supervisors in their role in keeping the union out. Such as saying things like, you could get less in negotiations, I could lose my job if the union gets in, and in short he is playing on your emotions. They do this with employees they are close to because they know it is illegal for management to go one on one with an employee in order to get him or her to vote no. I don’t know if this is happening yet, but if you were a party to one of these conversations with a supervisor you know I’m telling you the truth.
Once we file for an election the company will have four weeks in which to run an anti-union campaign. This is where dirtiest union busting goes on. STAY FOCUSED.

About two years ago or so, Kurtich had one of his non-mandatory town hall meetings where he gave his two-bucket speech; I’m guessing he was implying that we would have to double our work efforts. What the hell have we been doing? Year after year we are left to pick up the pieces and put it all back together again. This can only happen because of the dedication shown by employees at the LA TIMES. As trade persons we just can’t throw up our hands and give up. Then he spoke about dropping circulation numbers; I don’t remember what the meeting was meant to convey. Maybe he was defending more cuts. It just doesn’t seem right that executives get bonuses for putting people out of work. Especially when they don’t have a real plan to build circulation or promote our paper.

Here is an example of promoting our paper, or lack of. A subscriber now has to request
The TV listings to be in their weekend paper or they will not receive them, its just not
Part of the service anymore, how can this type of cost cutting build circulation?

I’m asking that you make an educated vote this time. If all you have ever heard is what management was feeding you, then you need to do some research, on your own from home. Here are two places you can go to; SAVE OUR TRADE.COM you find links to GCC/IBT, NLRB, US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, and ED PADGETT.COM
If you go to Padgett’s site click on TRIBUNE WRITER HAS HAD ENOUGH this person has a lot to say. Isn’t it funny that since Kurtich’s letter entitled ENOUGH IS ENOUGH came out everybody in the company is saying it?
Don’t be fooled, management doesn’t have your best interest on their minds. At this point whether a corporate co. or private owner owns us, the bottom line is the same. To go into the future without protecting what we have now, in my opinion is not a good idea.

As you can see they have taken cost cutting in operations to a new level; first the drivers and mechanics, and now the closing of the Northridge Plant. This makes all the other take-aways look insignificant, not to mention what has happened to other departments.
All of this while the LA TIMES is doing well financially. Some say that 20% profit margin is wrong, that it was bloated by Tribune to quite investors. Whether its wrong or right, how much profit was created from cost cutting, and how will they keep that 20% from falling? Jeff Johnson has not come to our rescue, and no one will. I think we better start looking after ourselves.
M.Kurtich has always said that these cuts are necessary to insure our future. Well the future is here; take a good look at it, and take control of it. Tribune has driven circulation down, and taken our newspaper with it. STAY STRONG, Kurtich and his union busting team are going to use every dirty trick in the book on this one; they know if the employees win the election it’s going to cost them money, and will spread into newsprint and post press. Kurtich is again is saying that you could get less in your first contract, BULL. Think about this, how could unions even exist if not for that first contract, or is he saying were so ignorant, that we might vote yes to a contract that gives us less. Make no mistake; a first time contract is going to cost them a lot of money.

Neither Ronnie nor myself had any intention of starting a union drive again. It is time consuming, physically and emotionally draining. Early this year some employees made contact with me and asked if it were possible to start a union drive. I thought to myself with most of our support laid off, OC being anti union for so long, and not knowing where SF stood, what chance would we have? I said that I would get back to them on this issue, I never did, here we are with 65% of pledge cards turned in and we will get 70%. It’s amazing what we have accomplished with just a hand full of employees from both plants.
I don’t have permission to mention them by name, but thank you all for the work and effort you have given to this campaign. I can only think, that if we had more of us stepping up to the plate, who knows, we might have been in negotiations right now.

I can’t over stress this; all employees in the bargaining unit will have a chance to nominate and vote for who they want to be on the negotiating committee. Whether you voted for union, or against union representation. An election is a secret ballet; no one knows how you voted. This is why all employees have a choice on who will represent us in negotiations.
Ronnie Pineda and I, we are not the leaders. We don’t have anymore say than any other employee. We can’t get any more than any other employee. You handed the ball to us and we’re running with it. We are willing to hand off the ball, just be there when we do and don’t drop it. UNITE AND STAND STRONG

I never said I was a writer. Sometimes it’s hard for me to express what I feel. Have patience, and we will get through this.

David Rascon
Hi Ronnie,

I think we can list more, " Take Aways".

I would like to get a list of some of the prior ones.

We used to have at one time a least one Nurse on Duty. Some times two.
We had a Doctor on Staff in L.A. ( Doctor Buck )
Our own Painters, Carpenters, Janitors, Gaurds, ... Any you can add?

We had extra help on the press - Paper Handlers,
They had stubs ready for any change over. All the paper lined up for the change over.
An extra eye on things- next run- how many to go- etc.....

Just a thought on some the things not listed.

Ronnie, there is one thing that we lost lately that should be listed and it's one that affects our earnings toward retirement. We can no longer " Day Trade" in our 401k plan.
The rats want us to sit still while Rome is burning. Enron style.
We must remain in any plan we select for 30 days. If we choose to put our money in a Money Market Account, we have to wait 60 days. In essence, if we decide to get out high and wait out the Market in a Money Market account to keep thing safe from the fluctuations of the Market and then jump back in low, our options are severly limited.
Day Trading is for the Big Boys.

Talk to ya later,

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Farewell Mr. Johnson....
It is being reported by The New York Times that Jeff Johnson was "FIRED" by Tribune, and Dow Jones States Tribune reported that he resigned. Naturally Tribune would try to downplay his TERMINATION.

I give him alot of respect for standing up to his superiors and attempting to prevent further cuts at our paper. Tribune is determined to accomplish it's objectives and since Jeff wasn't going to comply, they simply replaced him with someone who will!

Who in management will risk his position to prevent cuts in the pressroom? Any volunteers? Mark? Russ? Greg? Ron? Most likely none of them!

The 200 million dollars in cuts will probably begin very soon so we need to focus on our own effort to prevent cuts in our shops. Sign a Card and Vote YES!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The FCC is coming to Los Angeles today to hear from the public on media ownership. Now is your chance to tell them whether large media companies are providing enough local coverage and diversity of voices in your community.

The L.A. hearing is the first -- and so far only -- official public hearing on media consolidation.

There will be an afternoon and an evening session -- with opportunities for public testimony at both:

FCC Hearing on Media Ownership (Part One)
1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Oct. 3, 2006
University of Southern California
Davidson Conference Center
Embassy Room
Los Angeles
Google Map
Parking Info

FCC Hearing on Media Ownership (Part Two)
6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m., Oct. 3, 2006
El Segundo High School
640 Main Street
El Segundo
Google Map
Parking Info

Come to either hearing -- and make sure the industry lobbyists don't fill up the seats. Or volunteer to help members of the public prepare their remarks.

Click here if you can volunteer.

News of Tribune Company's attempts to gut the newsroom at the Los Angeles Times illustrates how Big Media is failing to meet the needs of local communities. And now the FCC wants to change the rules to give Tribune, Clear Channel and News Corp. more control over local media.

The FCC has listened to Big Media lobbyists long enough. This is your chance to stand up for independent, local, diverse media.

Join us tomorrow at one of the hearings -- and make sure to get there early so you can make your voice heard.

See you there,

Amanda Ballantyne
Field Organizer
Free Press

P.S. To learn more about the October 3 hearings visit "Speak Out in L.A." at

Friday, September 29, 2006

September 26, 2006

Dear Mr. Pineda:

Thank you for contacting me about the "Employee
Free Choice Act" (EFCA). I appreciate hearing from you
and welcome this opportunity to respond.

I am pleased to inform you that I am a co-sponsor
of S. 842, the "Employee Free Choice Act". Like you, I
believe it is important that American workers have the
right to unionize. In addition, American workers should
also have the opportunity to obtain affordable health care
and work in safe conditions. Furthermore, I believe
companies must be held accountable for any unlawful
actions taken against workers who participate in unions
and should work with employees to improve all working

On April 19, 2005 Senator Edward Kennedy
reintroduced EFCA. This legislation would enhance
workers' ability to organize in the workplace by
increasing penalties against unions and companies that
violate labor laws during organizing efforts. This bill
certifies a union if the National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB) finds that a majority of employees have
designated the union as its' bargaining representative.

EFCA would ensure several other priorities for

? Guarantees workers will not be penalized by
their employers for taking part in organizing
? Ensures union workers will have a contract for
protection of employment;
? Increases the amount an employer is required to
pay to the employee for discrimination; and
? Increases civil fines of up to $20,000 per
violation against employers.

EFCA has been referred to the Senate Committee
on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).
Although I am not a member of the HELP Committee,
please know that I will continue to closely monitor this
situation as it unfolds. Additionally, I will be sure to
keep your suggestions in mind should this legislation
come before the Senate.

Once again, thank you for writing. I hope you will
continue to keep in touch on issues of importance to you.
If you have any additional questions or comments, please
do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. staff at
(202) 224-3841 or visit my website at

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Scabs for hire!
This appears to be another attempt to undermine the Union Campaign effort. First of all, why don't they disclose the location of the newspaper that they are trying to recruit SCABS for?

How would you like to have someone come and take away your work and income, You wouldn't. Greed is very motivating and this Company knows that very well. Do any of the individuals who are signing up really need the money? If so, couldn't they get it some other way than to take it from another presspersons family?
They are trying to make a living just like the rest of us and deserve to negotiate with their employer without interference or intimidation.

Show some compassion for the people they are trying to defeat and put yourself in their shoes. Let them resolve their differences without doing their companys dirty work.
Tribune, L.A. Times should be shunned for this kind of behavior and don't think that they wouldn't do the same thing to us!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

We've all heard what has happened with our former drivers and Ryder. It appears that this is an effort by the Company and Ryder to de-stabilize the union and use this to undermine our efforts to organize our shops. The timing of this decision should be considered very suspect. The fact of the matter is that The Teamster drivers negotiate with Ryder not The Times or Tribune. So they determine just how much work is allocated to Ryder.
The former drivers have been victims of Tribunes cost cutting measures and several are again victims. The fact that they are Represented by The Teamsters has insured that they will be able to retain employment elsewhere.
This is another reason why we need to accomplish our mission and become Union Represented Teamsters, then and only then will we be able to support one another when The L.A. Times and Tribune come looking for fast cash.
The Drivers have expressed their support for our effort and in light of these recent events, they are encouraging you even more so to not fail.
The Company is jeopardizing our security and the security of our property by allowing a criminal element onto the property. The drivers they have hired to deliver the loads they referred to have been witnessed using marijuana in the parking lots in O.C. and I have heard of lockers being broken into. In Los Angeles there was a rash of lockers being broken into shortly after the Company began to allow non-Times employees into the building.
So once again we are put at risk in their effort to save a buck.
Safety is one of the major concerns of ours in our shops. Staffing levels have increased our risks of injury. The increased workload has resulted in shoulder,wrist and hand injuries. Safety bingo apparently is not preventing these problems. How do you feel about the way The Los Angeles Times and Tribune view our safety and their effort to insure it?

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Employment at will"
While it is hoped that your employment with the Company will be mutually rewarding, your employment relationship with the Company is at-will.
This means that either you or the company may terminate this relationship at any time,
for reason, with or without cause or notice.
At-will employment also means that the Company may make decisions regarding other terms and conditions of employment at any time with or without cause or notice including but not limited to demotion, dicipline, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, duties and location of work. Any agreement for employment for any specified period of time or for any promises or commitments contrary to the foregoing can only be made by a company officer. Any such agreement that changes your at-will employment status must be explicit, in writing, and signed by both you and the Publisher of the Company to be enforcable.

Source: Los Angeles Times Employee Handbook

This is why you need to sign a card and vote yes!

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