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

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