Saturday, December 29, 2007

January Meetings with GCC/IBT Representative Mike Huggins

Negotiations were scheduled for January 9th and 10th. The company cancelled the session scheduled for the 10th, so we are going to use this time and opportunity to introduce our GCC/IBT Rep. Mike Huggins to our bargaining unit employees.

We will be holding meetings in both Los Angeles and Orange County.

We will meet in Los Angeles on Thursday January 10th at 11:00am at Shakey's Pizza. This location is just minutes north of the Oly Plant and frwy convenient.

Just click on the maps to enlarge.
On January 11th we will be meeting in Orange County at the usual spot, Round Table Pizza on Euclid and Warner in Fountain Valley.
Be sure to attend one of these meetings to meet Mike and get informed.
Bring your questions as well as a guest.
(revision) The January 10th flyer was improperly dated Friday. The correct date is Thursday, January 10. I apologize for any confusion I may have caused. Thank's for the catch Brother Banuelos.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

The True Meaning of Christmas


Wishing all of my brothers and sisters and your families a very happy, safe and memorable HOLIDAY SEASON.

The spirit of caring and giving is something that surpasses the seasons and should be part of our lives everyday.


Happy Holiday's from The Pineda Family!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Speak no Evil, See no Evil, Hear no Evil......

When thinking about how the negotiations are going, or for that matter, not going, all I can think of is the image to your right. It may as well be these three on the other side of the table.

The Senior Vice President Of Operations has said more in the last few days than he has during the five negotiation sessions combined.

What are his objectives in doing so?

His intentions are as always, to divide and conquer. His hopes are to de-certify our union representation so that management can pickup where they left off, and continue to take our trade and us down along with the company.

He want's the bargaining unit to lose faith in our union representatives, the negotiating committee, and the collective bargaining process. His motives should be obvious and his mis-information ignored. Our representative Mike Huggins has accused the company and it's representatives of "SURFACE BARGAINING" and thats about all they have done, while claiming to be bargaining in good faith.

Russ stated in O.C. "They don't even have an attorney on their side" When necessary, our attorney and anyone else we need to be, will be seated on our side of the table.

I continue to wonder why any of our peers would continue to believe someone who has continually stated that we are overpaid and had said to an L.A. pressman, quote "I can't wait to get to the table to cut your wages". That is about the only truth to have come from his lips. He has went as far as to tell one of our top operators that if he didn't like it here, he could get a job at McDonalds. Another employee informed him that he was very stressed and actually considered suicide, to which he was told to find another job. Great sign of compassion for his subordinate. He didn't have to find another job, instead he was fired!

His statement to the O.C. Machinists calling us Pressroom employees "Buffoons" was insulting and shows what he really thinks of the pressroom employees who have worked for the L.A. Times for decades.

I had refrained from posting anything about Russ's statements until he chose to lie to our brothers and sisters by saying that the company offered the negotiating committee a Tribune contract, and we refused it. THAT IS A LIE!
Proposals are all that have been exchanged and the proposals they presented are not to be found in any Tribune contract nor would your committee ever consider bringing these ridiculous proposals back to the bargaining unit without expecting to be strung up in the parking lot.

Remember this story?

Aesop's Fables The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Once upon a time there was a very naughty shepherd-boy. He often fell asleep while he was watching his sheep. And he told lies. The villagers shook their heads and said, 'That boy will come to a bad end.'

One day, when he was feeling very bored, the boy decided to play a practical joke on the villagers. He ran down the hill. 'Wolf, wolf!' he cried. 'Help, come quickly. Wolf!' All the villagers seized their spears and ran to help him. But there was no wolf. 'He heard you,' the naughty boy lied, 'and ran away.'
When everyone had gone, he started to laugh.

Three weeks later, when he was feeling very bored indeed, he decided to play the same trick again. 'Wolf, wolf' he shouted. 'Help, come quickly. Wolf!' Most of the villagers hurried to help him. This time the boy laughed at them. 'Ha, ha. There wasn't a wolf,' he said. 'What a good joke!' The villagers were very angry.

' Lies are not jokes,' they said. Two days later the boy woke up suddenly. He had fallen asleep in the afternoon sun. What was that big dark animal coming towards his flock? Suddenly it seized a lamb. 'Wolf!' screamed the boy. 'Wolf. Help, come quickly. Wolf!'

But none of the villagers came to help him. He screamed again. The wolf heard him and licked its lips, 'I like lamb,' it thought, 'but shepherd-boy tastes much nicer.'
When the shepherd-boy didn't come home that night, some of the villagers went to look for him. They found a few bones.

How long will you keep listening to the shepard boy's lies??

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Done Deal!

Tribune Completes Going-Private Transaction; Sam Zell Named Chairman & CEO

Zell Increases Investment in Company to $315 Million; New Board of Directors Elected
Last update: 12:54 p.m. EST Dec. 20, 2007

CHICAGO, Dec 20, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --
Tribune Company TRB 33.98, +0.91, +2.8%) announced today that it has completed its going-private transaction by merging with an acquisition subsidiary of the Tribune Employee Stock Ownership Plan (Tribune ESOP). Effective immediately, Sam Zell, who financed the transaction, assumes the roles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to take the great brands of Tribune Company, and the enormous talent within the company, to a new level," said Zell. "Tribune, along with the newspaper industry, has been mired in its monopolistic origins, and we intend to create a fresh, entrepreneurial culture that is fast and nimble, and which rewards innovation. Our goal is to provide a sustainable, relevant product for our customers and communities."

Under the terms of the merger agreement, all of the company's publicly held shares of common stock, except for those owned by the Tribune ESOP and shares held by shareholders who validly exercise appraisal rights, will be cashed out at $34 per share. Shareholders approved the transaction at a special meeting held on Aug. 21, 2007. The company's common stock will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange at market close today.

On April 2, 2007, Tribune announced its intention to become a private company, owned 100 percent by the Tribune ESOP. EGI-TRB, an entity run by Zell, made an initial investment of $250 million in Tribune, and Zell was named to the company's board of directors in May. As part of the going-private transaction, EGI-TRB increased its investment to $315 million by purchasing a note and a warrant to acquire up to 40 percent of the company's common equity on a fully diluted basis.

Board and Management Changes

Contingent upon board approval this afternoon, Tribune's board will have a total of eight directors, chaired by Zell. The company expects to add the following directors: --

Jeffrey S. Berg, 60, chairman and chief executive officer ofInternational Creative Management, Inc. He serves on the Board of Visitors at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and on the Board of Directors of Oracle Corporation. He is also on the London School of Economics' Court of Governors.

-- Brian L. Greenspun, 61, chairman and chief executive officer of The Greenspun Corporation, and president and editor of the Las Vegas Sun. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a member of the International Advisory Council of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington. Greenspun also serves on the University of Nevada President's Community Advisory Board. The Greenspun family has made a significant investment in Tribune Company.

-- William C. Pate, 44, chief investment officer of Equity Group Investments, LLC. Pate serves on the boards of Covanta Holding Corporation and Exterran Holdings Inc. He is a nominee of Zell's affiliate agreement with Tribune Company.

-- Maggie Wilderotter, 52, chairman and chief executive officer of Citizens Communications. Wilderotter has 30 years of experience in the communications industry, and serves on the board of directors of Yahoo! and Xerox Corporation, as well as the boards for a number of non-profit

-- Frank E. Wood, 65, chief executive officer of Secret Communications, LLC, a venture capital company in Cincinnati. Wood, a former lawyer, spent 33 years in the radio broadcasting business. He is chairman of the board of 8e6 Technologies, an internet filtering company, and serves on the board of Chemed Corporation and C Bank, a new business bank.

William A. Osborn and Betsy D. Holden each have been re-elected to serve on Tribune's board. -- Holden, 52, joined Tribune Company's board of directors in 2002. She is a senior advisor to McKinsey & Company and the former president of global marketing and category development at Kraft Foods, Inc. She also serves on the board of Western Union Company.

-- Osborn, 60, joined Tribune Company's board of directors in 2001. He is chairman and chief executive officer and a director of Northern Trust Corporation and its principal subsidiary, The Northern Trust Company. In addition, he serves on the board of Caterpillar, Inc.

Tribune's executive management team, led by Zell, adds Randy Michaels as executive vice president and chief executive officer of Interactive and Broadcasting, and Gerald A. Spector as executive vice president and chief administrative officer. -- Michaels, 55, was formerly CEO of Local TV, LLC, a company that acquired television stations formerly owned by New York Times Company. He has more than 37 years in media, including his role as president and
chief executive officer at Jacor, which merged with Clear Channel Communications in 1999. As CEO, Michaels grew Clear Channel from 425 to 1200 stations in just three years.

-- Spector, 61, previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Equity Residential. Prior to that role, he was COO of Equity Group Investments. Spector has more than 35 years of experience in bringing various financial and real estate companies within Zell's organization to operational excellence. He remains on the board of trustees of Equity Residential as vice chairman.

Press Conference

Sam Zell will hold a press conference regarding Tribune's going-private transaction at Tribune Tower at 2:30 p.m. CDT (3:30 EDT, 12:30 PDT). Tribune Tower is located at 435 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Media wishing to cover the event should e-mail their contact information to, and check in at the main entrance of the Tower. The press conference will be available by satellite on:
Galaxy 17
Transponder 13 -- Horizontal
11967.25 MHz
1217.25 MHz. L-band
4.2969 m/S symbol rate
5/6 FEC

An audio webcast of the press conference will be available on the company's website,

About Tribune Company

Tribune is one of the country's top media companies, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing, Tribune's leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), The Sun (Baltimore), South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant. The company's broadcasting group operates 23 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience.
SOURCE Tribune Company
Copyright (C) 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


December 19, 2007

FitzSimons to Step Down as Tribune Company Chairman and CEO

CHICAGO, Dec. 19, 2007 –- Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB)
announced today that Dennis FitzSimons will step down as
chairman and chief executive officer immediately after the
company completes its going-private transaction. FitzSimons
will leave the company at the end of the year.

"I am proud to have been part of Tribune for more than 25
years," said FitzSimons. "The company’s greatest strength
has always been the talent and dedication of its 20,000
employees. I thank them for their commitment to serving our
readers, viewers, listeners and advertisers."

On April 2, 2007, Tribune announced its intention to become
a private company, owned 100 percent by the Tribune Employee
Stock Ownership Plan (Tribune ESOP). At that time, Sam Zell
made an initial investment of $250 million in the company.
He joined Tribune’s board of directors in May. When the
transaction closes, his investment in Tribune will increase
to $315 million and he will become chairman of the board.

"Sam Zell is an entrepreneur with a phenomenal track
record," added FitzSimons. "He has made a significant
investment in Tribune that indicates his strong belief in
the value of the company’s media assets. It was Sam’s
creativity, personal commitment and investment that made
this transaction possible."

"Dennis FitzSimons has provided Tribune with outstanding
leadership through a challenging environment," said Zell.
"He helped build the company into one of the nation’s
premier media businesses, and has been instrumental in
guiding Tribune to the closing of this historic transaction.
I wish him much success in the next phase of his career."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Teamster News

For Immediate Release Contact:
December 12, 2007 Galen Munroe, (202) 624-6904

Teamsters File Request for Reconsideration

(Washington, D.C.) – Today the International Brotherhood of Teamsters sought reconsideration of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision granting the Tribune Company’s [NYSE: TRB] transfer of ownership request and its associated requests for waiver of the Commission’s newspaper/broadcast cross ownership rules.

The deal involves transferring 100% ownership of the Company to employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) but provides employee owners no role in the governance of either the ESOP or the operating company. Instead, real estate entrepreneur Sam Zell, who will not have an ownership interest, along with his handpicked Board of Directors and ESOP trustee, will control the company including its fourteen newspapers, twenty-three television stations and one radio station.

"Apparently the FCC was tuned out during its public listening tour," said James P. Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. "In its rush to judgment, the Commission has failed to enforce its current rules or protect the public interest."
The Teamsters, which represents 2,000 Tribune employees, raised concerns with the FCC about the buyout structure of the Tribune Company. The Teamsters believe the structure violates the FCC’s requirement (Section 310-D of the Communications Act) that stations be controlled by their owners, and not by Sam Zell, a trust established for the benefit of members of his family, and a pre-selected ESOP trustee. This third party ownership violates the FCC’s requirement that stations be controlled by their owners, and undermines the public interest and the FCC’s mission of promoting localism and diversity.

In oral testimony at the Commission’s October 31st public hearing--the last of a series by the
agency to consider the impact of broadcast cross ownership rules on localism--the Teamsters alerted the Commission to violations the deal posed. The testimony, a summary of which also was filed in the Tribune proceeding, reads in part:

"This separation of ownership and management is unprecedented and would set a new, and very low, standard for compliance with the Communication Act’s public interest requirements, which are the basis for the localism and diversity principles in broadcasting," said George Tedeschi, International Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and employee of the Tribune’s New York Newsday.

Founded in 1905, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States and Canada.

Friday, December 07, 2007



Thursday, December 06, 2007

consistently inconsistent pressmen

You pressmen who are sitting back watching the show going on are only further enabling this company to believe through our actions that they can do just about what they want.Step up and stand for something once in your life,you are constantly talking about wrongs done in the pressroom but have no balls to even wear a doggone shirt or take your whole lunch.That ten or fifteen minute bustout means more to you than your families security.None of us have any real security they can ignore seniority or do anything to us because of you wishy washy grown ass men. wake up brothers and sisters don't let this chance we have,maybe our last chance to better our lives with Teamter support pass us bye.This union is only as solid as we want it to be, stop cheating yourself.We all have given a large part of our lives being a part of this once proud bird, enduring horrible shifts, holidays at work instead of with families.I think we deserve alot more than we get, don't you?You don't have to walk around in fear you know the rules go by the letter, you should be anyhow man this is America land of the free. We are only as strong as you individually want to be.Together we stand divided we fall.Show support for the union get off the wall. Stand up!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Unsettling Settlement Dis-Agreement!

Greeting's Brothers and Sisters.

Negotiations began exactly one month ago today and we have met with management three times during this period. We are scheduled to meet again in a week on December 5th and 6th.
Alot has been accomplished and nothing has been accomplished. Confused? That's what management wants. I was hesitant to post anything until giving the negotiations an opportunity to get on the right path. The company is on a different path all together and continues to show that they are as out of touch as ever with their employees and their employees needs. That is why WE need to fight for what is in our best interest.

Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement approved by NLRB Regional Director James Small, the company declared:

"We Will Not" discriminate against our employees by ceasing to award meal tickets for work performance or by changing our current practice of permitting employees to"LEAVE EARLY" when the work we assign to them is completed, because our employees supported and/or assisted the Union.

They also declared "We Will" continue our practice of permitting employees to leave early when the work we assign to them is completed.

The ink on this settlement between the company and the NLRB has barely dried, yet Walker and the company have intentionally and arrogantly ignored THE AGREEMENT. We filed Unfair Labor Practice charges informing the NLRB that as a result of certification, unilateral changes intended to punish us for voting for representation were being made in violation of our rights under section 7 of the NLRA. The NLRB was preparing to charge the company with violating our rights, so as to avoid the charge, the settlement was proposed by the company and we signed on because we believed that the company would obey the law and abide by the settlement agreements, it's obvious to our brothers and sisters in L.A. that they have no intention.

In our few negotiation sessions, the committee attempted to resolve the matter of washing blankets twice in a shift, and informed management that we view this unilateral change as retaliation and in violation of the settlement agreement because it extends the work hours and punishes the bargaining unit by not allowing employees to leave early at the end of their run as we have done for decades. We have never washed twice, it was either before or after a run and management knows this fact because of all the arguments we have had over the years as to when washing is best, before or after. We have ran multiple runs without washing and because of this time honored practice, having to wash twice clearly is a form of retaliation. Those attempts for resolution by the committee have been intentionally ignored as well.

Another way the settlement and our rights are being blatantly ignored, and the bargaining unit punished, is by the new procedure of having crews "change over" and stand by until all other production is complete, never producing a single newspaper, at expense and unnecessary cost to the company.

Seniority has afforded us very little over the years especially under Tribune, thus we valued what we did benefit from our seniority when it was a factor. Management again, in L.A. only, began ignoring what few ways seniority is used when determining crew placement with the only reason being, to retaliate against it's employees.

These acts of IGNORANCE by management have not been ignored by us, by no means, and we will not tolerate it any longer. An opportunity was presented to the company at the table to restore these practices and they AREN'T INTERESTED, so we have again filed unfair labor practice charges and will present our arguments to the NLRB.

For the record, they have yet to make those who suffered a loss by the discontinuance of the meal ticket incentive whole, and we will be sure to inform the NLRB of that fact as well.

(12/05/07 ) Update: Today during negotiations, the company stated that they and the NLRB were continuing to discuss the details of meal tickets owed to those who met the criteria to earn meal tickets under the settlement agreement.

(A unilateral change is ANY change after certification that takes place without collective bargaining. The "bust-out" and meal ticket charges we filed, and the companys settlement agreement to restore the incentive, and allow employees to "leave early" establishes that NO CHANGES were, or are to be made, unless negotiated and agreed to. To prove what I've just stated, the company's proposals seek to eliminate both.)


Within the six months last past, the above-named Employer has unilaterally changed the terms and conditions of employment for bargaining unit employees without providing notice to nor an opportunity to bargain with the charging party.

1. The Employer announced that contrary to the past practice, Press Room employees would be thereafter required to wash blankets twice per shift. The new requirement to wash blankets twice per shift has had a negative impact on bargaining unit employees since washing blankets twice per shift instead of once obviously takes more time, and is physically exerting requiring employees to engage in repetitive motions at difficult angles and thereby increases the risk of industrial injury to such employees. This change also has resulted in the extension of work hours for some employees and the increase has further had the effect of depriving some employees of their lunch period.

2. The Employer has also changed the practice with respect to changing presses at the end of shifts to produce a different product. In the past, this kind of work was not required and has a negative impact on bargaining unit employees since it takes more time and has interfered with the employees’ work schedules by eliminating time historically given to bargaining unit employees to clean up at the end of their shift. Further, in the past, once the employees had finished the work historically assigned to them, they were allowed to clean up and go home without a loss of pay. This unilateral change also changes that historical practice.

3. In the past, bargaining unit employees were selected for particular crews based upon seniority. Such selections were made once a year. Seniority is also used to determine the specific spot on a specific crew selected by an employee. Many bargaining unit employees select a crew based upon the shift assigned to that crew. This provided a mechanism for employees with the most seniority to select the most desirable crews, shifts and days off. Now the Employer, in contravention of this historical practice, has eliminated seniority in the selection of crew placement.

By these and other acts, the above named Employer has and continues to violate the Act.

(basis of charge prepared by Adam Stern ESQ. Attorney at Law)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pressroom Posting

November 14, 2007
Negotiations Update # 2
Los Angeles Times negotiators met today in the second negotiation session with pressroom negotiators. Present on behalfofThe Times was ChiefNegotiator Timothy Fair, and committee members Russ Newton (Senior Vice President Operations), Jay Scott (Director of Hurnan Resources), and Sam Park (Human Resources Manager). Present on behalf ofthe union was Chief Negotiator Mike Huggins, Ronnie Pineda, Keith Denson, Lance Farrar, David Rascon, and Charles Laird.
In the first part of the session, the Company completed its responses to "Discussion Issues" that were presented by the union in the first session. The remainder of Wednesday's session
involved each party asking questions to help clarify initial proposals.
The union informed the Company that the union stewards will be Keith Denson, Lance Farrar, David Rascon, Mike Bassett, Charles Reney, Charles Laird, Ronnie Pinada and Philip McCluskey.
The next negotiation dates are scheduled for November 27th, December 5th and 6th at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Message from Negotiation Committee Member Lance Farrar

My fellow pressman & women,

We have begun negotiations and although you don't know all the details of the proceedings, you are all right there sitting at the table with us, the negotiating team that you voted for.

You have given us our marching orders through the surveys you filled out, and as we seek to achieve our first contract, we go with you in mind and beside us even though you are not physically in the room.

You do have a part to play and you are negotiating everyday at work through your actions, so wear your hats, buttons, shirts and pins and let the company and management know that you stand by your team and that you want a fair and just contract that we all deserve.

Let us all go forward now, united as one, strong and un-wavering in our goal.

Your Fellow Pressman,
Lance Farrar

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Negotiations, Day 1

I apologize for the suspense, I needed to share some of the day with my family and I won tickets to the NHRA Finals in Pomona today, and enjoyed a day to relax and do nothing!

O.K. As I've said before, Management visit's this site on a daily basis, with that in mind, I will reserve any information that will affect our negotiations or the process.

I can say that our committee is committed to this process in order to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that will benefit our membership as well as the company.

An exchange of initial proposals was performed and our committee, our Teamster Representatives and as well as our Attorney are in the process of reviewing their proposals as they are obviously doing with ours. It is my understanding that management posted a notice and it stated that several items were agreed to, that is correct. Those were areas that basically are standard language in most collective bargaining agreements.

Certain discussion issues were raised at the table regarding our L.A. shop and recent decisions and changes that have resulted in unfavorable treatment of our brothers and sisters. Our disapproval of these actions were voiced and our Representative did asked that they get Walker off your A**es. It is obvious why he is doing what he is doing. I hope this company does not condone his treatment of our brothers and sisters any longer.

Obviously this will take, so some time so be patient, be cautious and always be conscience of your surroundings. It's open season in L.A. and there are a couple of individuals who don't hesitate to do the bidding of management and will betray a fellow pressroom employee in a heartbeat. It's no secret who they are and why they do it. What ever happen to the golden rule?

We've just begun, but as we move forward, we will find a middle ground between their proposals and ours.

We will be able to disclose a bit more information at the upcoming meetings, so do your best to attend either one, hope to see all of you then.


Negotiations To Begin Today for L.A. Times Pressroom Employees

Today we will begin negotiations with Tribune/L.A. Times. Negotiations between the Los Angeles Times and their pressroom employees have not taken place for over 40 years. This is long over due and very vital to our survival at a time of uncertainty involving the sale to Sam Zell, The FCC and Cross ownership waivers, Retirement Plan/Benefit Changes and the overall economy.

Our Negotiation Committee will stand united to deliver a contract that will restore respect, dignity, and most importantly, provide us with a fair and safe work environment to perform our craft. We will keep you informed as the negotiations progress.

Don't forget to attend either of the two upcoming meetings in Monrovia on Sunday Nov.4th or Monday, Nov. 5th in Fountain Valley.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Local 404 Meeting November 4th

Local 404 President Doug Brown asked me to invite our members to attend their Annual General Meeting on Sunday November 4th at 10:Am.

There are quite a few of us who are card carrying members of Local 404, so President Brown would especially like for you to make every effort possible to attend.

GCC/IBT President Tedeschi and GCC/IBT Organizer Marty Keegan will also be in attendance at this meeting so if you may not be planning on attending our meeting on Monday November 5th in Fountain Valley, you might consider joining us a day earlier in Monrovia.

Local 404 is located at 518 west Duarte Rd. Monrovia, Ca.91016 Just south of the 210 fwy at the Myrtle exit, west of Myrtle on the left immediately after Mayflower Ave.

Everyone is welcome to come and witness the processes that take place in these type of meetings and get a look at our future, because we will also have meetings like this one.

See you there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

November 5th Meeting in Fountain Valley

Come join GCC/IBT President George Tedeschi in Fountain Valley on Monday November 5th. @ 11:00 am

Make the extra effort to attend and don't come alone! This is an excellent opportunity to invite our brothers and sisters in departments other than the pressroom! Make arrangements to carpool if necessary.

If you work in L.A. you can meet at the Olympic Plant and jump in with one another! If you would like to make arrangements to do that, contact me at and I will identify individuals willing to share a ride. You gotta get involved sooner or later! Do it now! See you all there!

(Click on image to enlarge)

Incident Reports and L.A. Times/N.L.R.B. Settlement available on Save Our Trade

You can now download and print copies of the incident report document as well as the recent settlement between the company and the NLRB. Just click here to get to the Links/Resources page. I suggest you save the incident report on your computer should you need to report any incidents you feel violates our rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

Thank's Albaro for making these documents accessible to the members who utilize the resources you make available on Save Our Trade's Homepage. Keep up the good work


Message From Mike Laspina, Newsday Local 406 Business Agent to all other L.A. Times departments

To all my brothers and sisters in the non-union departments,

When I was kid many years ago, my mother would tell my brothers and sisters and me to do chores, such as clean our rooms or pick-up after ourselves. The first words out of our mouths were “WAIT! We’ll do it later! Her response to us was always the same--Wait broke the wagon!

I would think to myself, what the hell does that mean? Well, after hearing this many times I finally asked her. She told me you put enough weights on a wagon, and it will break down and go nowhere.

I used this saying with my children, and I am saying it again to you. The latest win at the L.A.Times with the N.L.R.B. should show you that once you elect to unionize, you have a lot more rights with this company. (Our union, GCC, organized the pressman at LA Times this summer). We at Newsday are Local 406. We have 41 pages of rights called a collective bargaining agreement contract.

At our last negotiations, realizing that the company was facing higher health care costs, we negotiated in good faith to give Tribune the right to raise our healthcare premiums up to 3% in one year. However, there is nothing in the contract that says I will pay a surcharge-not for smoking or for a spouse fee to off-set administration cost. So we are grieving this stupid rule, and we expect to win.

You guys and girls on the other hand will have to pay it, because you have nothing that says otherwise. Mr. Zell will wake up one morning with a cup of coffee and realize a 12 billion-dollar deficit and on that day, Mr. Zell will institute a lot of big changes in every newspaper the Tribune owns, and they won’t be employee-friendly changes. Just like this new pension plan that Zell has in mind.

We as a union have a right to file a grievance and for arbitration because the Tribune said the unions have to negotiate for this new ESOP. If we disagree, we have a right to negotiate for something else according to our contracts, such as a union-based pension. A 3% cash plan and UP TO 5% into an ESOP (UP TO meaning it could be 0 at any given year based on how Tribune is doing). Well, we all know how they are doing (not good) and add to that a $12 billion dollar deficit!

Think of the changes over the short few years we’ve been owned by Tribune. A 40-hour work week with no additional pay, the full-time nurse gone, gates around the grounds, and now a $100 smoking fee & $75 spouse fee. Let me ask--- when was the last time you got a decent raise? And if you are one of the lucky ones that did, will it cover the $175 fee? At what point do you open your eyes and see you can’t win but by having a contract? You have a lot more rights as a union member and there is strength in numbers.

If you want to talk confidentially, call me at the union office at 631-293-6868. I will answer any questions and help you contact the right person in your company.


Thank you,
Mike LaSpina Local 406 GCC/IBT

NLRB Settlement Notice

The posted settlement notice is the result of unfair labor practice charges we filed against the company in July. Brothers Dan Beruman and Kerry McCluskey were asked to give testimony to NLRB Board agent Irma Hernandez in her investigation of our charges and they obviously, did an excellent job. Great work brothers!

Their testimony, Ms. Hernandez's thourough investigation and the Company's desire to avoid a board charge resulted in this settlement between the company and the NLRB.
Acting Regional Director Small felt the settlement resolved our complaints and agreed to the terms offered by the company.

Buddy Gottlieb (our Attorney) recommended we sign on to the settlement and we did. There was no reason to file any objections to this settlement because it does resolves the issues we presented to the NLRB.

The Company's decisions to cease the meal ticket incentive and extend working hours after completion of our runs were both unilateral changes that are subject to collective bargaining and were illegally changed. In L.A. our Brothers and Sisters were being told to perform "cleanup " in excess of normal past practices which is also a unilateral change that cannot change without bargaining first and agreeing to any such changes.

As I said before, the pressrooms are suppose to be a snapshot of what they were when we won our election in January. Any changes after that time are unfair labor practices. We recently mailed out an "Incident report" to all pressroom employees for the purpose of recording these or any other mistreatment from management. USE THEM!

I have asked Albaro Albanes to make this form downloadable for printing on our homepage and I am asking all of you to write your observations of unilateral changes or mistreatment by management and we will forward them to our Attorneys and Representatives for review and determination of the proper action to take.

What does this settlement mean? It simply means that the meal tickets incentive is re-instated and we go home at the end of the run once we complete our clean-up, as we have for decades This is known as past practice.

During the organizing campaign we were told that if we voted in the union we would lose our "bust outs" and my response was and still is that the only things we can possibly lose is what we aggree to give up. Don't you think they took enough? This proves that nothing was to change in our shops without bargaining with us first!

That includes the Smoking and Spouse fees the company is planning to impose. The company mentioned that they are attempting to promote a healthy lifestyle. This financially penalizes, it does not promote health decision changes. Is the company going to reward non-smokers by reducing their health insurance cost by $100.00 or $75.00 for not insuring your spouse? Don't hold your breath! (Another pun!)

The company also mentions that they were merely following a trend at other newspapers and used Gannett as an example, they failed to mention that these fees violated their current contracts, thus their employees will not be forced to pay these fees.
(Gannett info source: GCC/IBT International Representive Doug Nowakowski)

We have the right to negotiate our benefits and our cost thus, we will negotiate these fees along with all benefits we are entitled to. We still have to participate in the open enrollment process because we are currently without a contract. These fees will be addressed by the negotiation committee in collective bargaining if the company decides to go forward with these ridiculously invasive and expensive fees.

I hope this example of what our solidarity can accomplish changes the minds of those who believed the deceptive messages the company delivered to us in their anti-union meetings.
Management is currently spreading these same lies to our brothers and sisters in other departments. It is all of our responsibility to share the truth and this settlement with all of them and encourage them to do as we did and organize their departments. Don't let management lie to them like they did to us for years and years.

Stand together and let's show everyone what we can accomplish. Two can accomplish more than one, four can accomplish twice as much as two, you get the picture!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tribune's smoking fee

Mark Lacter


Here's another example of why companies have no business dealing with people’s health care coverage. Employees who smoke (and/or family members who smoke and are covered by Tribune insurance) will have to fork over a $100 surcharge each month. The new fees, to be assessed beginning next year, are an effort to offset higher insurance premiums and promote workers health. "We pay the lion's share of medical expenses and we have a responsibility to contain those costs," Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman told E&P. "We are and have been doing everything we can. It is a shared responsibility between employees and the company." At least two Teamster locals at the Baltimore Sun have filed grievances, claiming that the Chicago-based parent of the LAT (and a bunch of other papers) violates current contract language. In addition to the smoking charge, there will be a $75-a-month charge assessed to Tribune employees who place a spouse into the Tribune plan who could be covered under their own employment plan. Nice. It’s not that other companies haven’t put the squeeze on their workers to shape up, but typically it’s done by way of incentive (lower premiums for folks enrolling in wellness programs, for example).

(For the complete story click here)

Tribune Co. 'Smoker' Fee -- and Spousal Surcharge -- Draw Union Fire

Tribune Co. 'Smoker' Fee -- and Spousal Surcharge -- Draw Union Fire By Joe Strupp Published: October 11, 2007 1:30 PM ET
NEW YORK A Tribune Company plan to assess a $100 per month health benefit fee on smokers, and a $75 fee for some spousal coverage, is drawing angry reaction among newspaper workers, including at least two Teamster locals that have filed grievances over the cost.
Tribune Company spokesman Gary Weitman confirmed that the company plans to assess the new fees in 2008, claiming they are needed to offset higher costs and promote worker health. Specifically, the assessment would require Tribune employees who smoke or have a family member covered under their policy who smokes to pay an additional $100 per month. In addition, Tribune employees who place a spouse under Tribune coverage who could be covered under their own employment plan elsewhere will be assessed another $75 per month fee.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Price of Smoking and being Married!

Some of us have already received the letter Albaro posted below. It is from Luis Lewin of Tribune Benefits.

Non-Smokers will agree that this is an unacceptable money grab by the insurance companies and our employer to control our lifestyle and the decisions we make regarding our health.

The air we breath has just as much garbage in it as any tobacco product on the market. Are we going to be charged for breathing next? I know that sounds extreme but so is this unfair decision to penalize the employee/consumer. We all know the dangers of smoking and most would prefer not to, but again, that is an individuals right to choose.
I suggest all of you, whether you smoke or not, to contact employee benefits and voice your anger over this financial penalty against our employee benefit costs.

You should also be allowed to choose and manage your health care providers and premium costs to provide coverage for your spouse regardless of whether he/she can obtain coverage through their employer. We pay additional premiums to include our spouses in our plans, so why are we being forced to remove them, or get FINED. It is obvious that their only goal is to have us drop our spouses to reduce costs for themselves, but as I said, we pay extra for their coverage, it's not free!

Many have spouses with access to coverage and also someone in their family may also smoke, so these employees are being asked to "COUGH" up (excuse the pun) $175.00 a month on top of their already high premiums. This is ridiculously incomprehensible and unreasonably expensive to maintain affordable health care coverage for our families.
Question, do you think your health care provider's costs are equivalent to the service you recieve currently? Do you think they have the right to penalize you for smoking?

What will they next consider "self-inflicted" health risk decisions that they can stick a price tag onto. Riding Motorcycles are dangerous, could Bike Riders be next? Maybe that next beer or glass of wine will be considered a financial opportunity to cash in on the choices we make in our lives.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Benefits Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for health and wellness benefits will be held from October 15 through November 2. During this time, you have the opportunity to review your current benefits elections and make changes to your coverage for 2008. There are several changes to your benefits plans for next year, some of which reflect growing trends among large U.S. companies -a summary is attached. The most significant changes are:

• Free generic drugs for hypertension, asthma or diabetes-Under the Blue Cross Blue Shield and CIGNA plans, employees and covered dependents with any of these conditions will receive generic drugs for free and pay only $5 for brand-name drugs when purchasing prescriptions for these conditions through the mail order program.

Tobacco use fee -Tribune employees who use tobacco products (or have covered dependents who do so), will pay a $100 per month fee (per family) in addition to their medical premium. Smoking cessation programs will be offered to assist those who use tobacco in leading a smoke-free lifestyle. The fee will be waived upon completion of the program.

• Spousal coverage fee -Employees who enroll l spouse/domestic partner under Tribune's medical plan who also has access to coverage through another employer will pay a $75 per month fee in addition to their medical premium if the spouse/ domestic partner remains under Tribune's plan.

Preventive care continues to be 100 percent covered after the office visit co-payment (including physicals, mammograms and prostate screenings).
To enroll for your benefits, use the instructions included on the attached summary; be sure to print your confirmation statement after making your elections. You must visit eBeneflts to review your benefit options, answer questions about tobacco use and spouse/domestic partner coverage and re-enroll in the flexible spending accounts. Additional information about your benefits will be included in the Enrollment Guide available on eBenefits.
If you have questions about your health and wellness benefits, please contact the Tribune Benefits Service Center at 800/872-2222.

I totally understand about my doctor's concern about my smoking, but now that the insurance companies are charging me $100.00 extra a month for exercising my right to live the way I want it is just a little too much, what ever happened to the land of the free? Isn't this a choice? Is it legal?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ego VS The Law

Most of you should have received our recent mailing highlighting our current status. I personally reviewed all current mailing information provided by the company and revised our database, so if anyone fails to receive it, it is because they do not have current information on file with the company or the union.

We do have confirmed negotiation dates beginning in November and are prepared to negotiate in good faith for our members. The committee members are aware of the contract draft contents and can dispell any rumors that may surface regarding it's contents. As stated in the letter, this can take some time, so patience and solidarity are priority number one.

Our major concern at this time is Johnny Walkers treatment of pressroom employees in Los Angeles. One of our main concerns, and probably the most serious is that it appears our African American Community in the pressroom are predominantly in his crosshairs and have been subjected to his disrepectful treatment and diciplinary targeting. This is a very disturbing fact and this fact will be further investigated by our attorneys. I am attempting to schedule a meeting with some of our members and The NAACP to get their impression of these obvious statistics and solicit their support in bringing this to managements attention.

Everyone should be conscious of the threat Walker poses and remain diligent by doing everything by the book, remain in control and follow orders. It's obvious that you are all being baited into becoming insubordinate. Any reason to write you up, deny you a raise and ultimately termination, as we have just witnessed. Buy-outs cost money, terminations don't. They are looking for safety violations, so as I said, be diligent, take a safe, load with a partner and always be aware of who is in your immediate area. Watch out for one another, do not run to the office to report a fellow pressperson. We have all been under different levels of pressure in the shop, but there is no reason to hold eachother accountable when we all know that it was none of us who made the decisions that have brought us to the point our pressroom in L.A is today. All of the calls I have received complaining about being treated in an insulting, disrepectful manner and unfairly disiplined, have only come from Los Angeles pressroom members.

I have spoke to Russ Newton about these concerns and the numerous calls I have received about Walkers treatment towards pressroom employees and he said that he has not been informed by anyone about their specific issues concerning Walker. I did mention that none of us have felt that we can go to Management and/or Human Resources and receive a fair and impartial resolution for a long, long time, not to mention the fear of retaliation. Russ went on to say that he encourages pressroom employees to speak to him personally and he will investigate any concerns we present to him. He also went on to say that any retaliation against an employee who seeks his assistance will not be tolerated and the retaliator would be terminated.

So I encourage all of you who have been subjected to Walker's alledged intimidation, harassment and disrepectful treatment to accept Russ' invitation and provide him with the information he needs to do his part to return the L.A. pressroom to a hostile free enviroment. Our company handbook says that the company promises to provide us with a work environment free of discrimination, harassment and hostility, so it's up to all of you in L.A. to provide Russ with proof of mistreatment, so visit Russ soon and be sure to provide him with all the facts, including witnesses and we will provide the same to our attorneys in an effort to resolve our members concerns as quickly as possible.

I most recently was informed by two seperate individuals on Sunday and Monday nights in which their respective crews were forced to work through their lunch and were not given the option to go eat or accept compensation for working through their lunch. This is in violation of State Labor Laws requiring employers to allow employees a lunch period of 1/2 hour within 5 hours of the start of their shift. These violations have been brought to our attorney's attention as well and proper actions will be taken in this matter. Operator Keith Denson informed me that on Monday night he notified Supervisor Tony Specht of his desire to take lunch and that it is against the law to force him to work through his lunch which was met with Tony's arrogant response "be sure to spell my name right". Was that necessary? We will be sure to spell it right as he requested when we notify the State of this violation.

Why does pressroom supervision think that they have a right to be disprepectful when addressing pressroom employees in Los Angeles? Why do they so easily forget where they came from and how upset they were when they felt supervision was disrepectful towards them. How easily they forget. Alot of you were never living up to the expectations you place on us now!

It is totally obvious that Los Angeles is being punished for the fact that we now have Union Representation and Walker has no desire to give up any control over the pressroom when the fact of the matter is, he is completely out of control and is a danger to a diverse work force such as ours. Discrimination, harassment and hostility contradict all the values inscribed on the sign at the entrance of the Olympic plant entrance. Walker and Specht should stop and read it some time.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Where are we now?

Sorry for the absence but alot has been going on lately, most of which I am unable to post here due to management's regular visits to our site. I can tell you that the negotiation committee met on Sunday and we are closer to completing our contract proposals.

We do have confirmed and agreed dates to begin negotiations and they are November 1st, 14th and 27th. Those dates were proposed by management's Lead Counsel and we accepted them in good faith to get the process moving. We have requested dates in blocks as opposed to single days in attempts to expedite the negotiations.

I have also been receiving numerous complaints from bargaining unit employees in Los Angeles about how they are being treated by management. I have heard that supervisors and management themselves are saying that we don't have a contract and that the union can't do anything for us. They are about to find out how wrong they are once again.

We have to remember why we voted for representation, and that is a CONTRACT!
Stay United and look out for eachother.

There is no plausible reason for the way our fellow brothers and sisters are being treated other than Johnny Walker's obsession to control literally everything and everyone in the pressroom. What ever happened to all the values management used to speak of?
Did someone forget to tell Johnny what they are? Napoleon Syndrome at it's finest. Now you all know why the results of their survey last year have never been addressed, because they were very unfavorable towards management. Respect your workers and stop making the pressroom a HOSTILE environment. It didn't work in San Diego and it won't be tolerated here any longer. Fear, intimidation, threats and hostility toward your subordinates are not leadership values to be respected.
(revised) Negotiation date correction. The date 0f the 4 was a typo missing the (1) and is actually the 14th. My apologies.

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! Hope you all enjoy Labor day.

(Revised on 9/6/07 to add the following message)

A Labor Day Message from General President James P. Hoffa
August 31, 2007

This Monday, we pay tribute to the millions of hardworking men and women who make our world better and keep our country vital. The recognition is well-deserved, although a single day hardly seems adequate to address the contributions of workers and the generations who preceded them.
As we approach Labor Day, the American labor movement is reinvigorated and working for profoundly important things: the continued existence of the middle class and our national safety. I’m proud that the 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union are at the forefront of this effort.
Our most immediate struggle is taking place now, as we face an immediate threat to our country’s well-being, courtesy of big business and the very person who should be protecting our safety. Despite overwhelming bipartisan congressional opposition and in defiance of public opinion, President Bush and his administration are trying to sidestep safety regulations in his ill-planned effort to open our highways to Mexican trucks. Of all weekends to recklessly open our highways to dangerous trucks, the president chose one of the busiest of the year — what a slap in the face to all Americans!

Safety is one of the key reasons — along with wages and benefits, and retirement security — that thousands of school bus drivers, logistics workers, airline workers, public service employees and sanitation workers have voted to become Teamsters Union members in the past year. As we have focused our organizing efforts on key industries, such as transportation, logistics and public services, more and more workers are able to secure fair compensation for them and their families, as well as improved treatment and safer conditions at work.
But we can and must do more.

I urge you to support political plans that are in the best interests of all Americans. You can make a difference by meeting workers in organizing drives; attending rallies; urging politicians to support issues such as fair trade and universal health care; voting for pro-labor candidates; and by becoming a member of DRIVE, our powerful political action committee.
While some politicians seem to think that handing hot dogs to workers and making a nice speech at a picnic will take care of labor issues for another year, we must remind them why Labor Day was established 113 years ago to ensure that the knowledge of labor’s great contributions to society lives on.

This is one reason we have joined with the Netroots, to raise our issues and public awareness for labor among a new generation of online activists and workers. Join the discussions, the online blogging communities in your states and hometowns and talk about your union. Be proud of the century-old Teamster legacy, and tell others what it means to be in a union — solidarity, democracy, respect. Because if we don't educate the public, no one will.
We must maintain respect for those willing to work with their hands, put in an honest day’s work and take pride in a craft or a job well done. It has always been laborers who were the first to stand up against injustice. Doing so, too many workers lost their lives to gain the rights and benefits that enable workers to support themselves and their families today.
On this Labor Day, I ask you for your continued support and involvement as we build support for working Americans.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Full System Restore

Don't you hate when your computer takes a dump? I'm sorry for having not posted anything recently as I've been out of favor with the Hewlett Packard Gods.

My laptop has been slower than a snail and a turtle race and my only option was to do a complete system restoration. That included the numerous upgrades since My wife gave this HP to me for christmas.
I'm am back to flying again so let's get to business.

August 21st Shareholders Meeting

I hope you have all listened to the August 21st shareholders meeting webcast on Triblink

GCC/IBT President George Tedeschi, International Representative Doug Nowakowski and Dan Willitt of The Teamsters, Capital Strategies Dept. were in attendance representing 2000 Teamster members employed by Tribune. They all spoke out against the fact that we as employees have no voice in the governance of the EMPLOYEE Stock OWNERSHIP Plan.
Look up the definition of ownership and see if you find any contradictions.

You are all aware by now that we as employees now have a major debt tied to our future retirement provided by the company. Technically we will own the company until all the debt against our new ESOP is paid off, but GreatBanc will decide for us how to vote the Esop shares, not the "E"mployees.

Is Orange County Closing Next?

Also on Triblink is the video that was sent to pressroom employees during our organizing campaign with Publisher David Hiller reassuring everyone that there was no truth to the rumor that Orange County was going to be closed any time soon. I have heard this rumor quite often lately so I myself can only go by what was stated by our publisher in this video and hope that it was true then, and it holds true now.

Shop Steward Training on September 15th.

Anyone who intends on attending this training course needs to RSVP at (626) 357-6476 soon, or contact me at so that preparations can be made to accomodate all who plan to attend. This course is being hosted by The Teamsters Training Department and they look forward to meeting everyone from our shops. Take some time to learn about your Union and how you can participate in helping one another by being a shop steward.

This training course is open to anyone regardless of whether you are interested in becoming a shop steward or not. I strongly recommend everyone who can be there to do so to take advantage of the information that will be presented and to have a better understanding of what a shop stewards rights and responsibilities are to the members and how shop stewards represent the bargaining unit in the shop by ensuring that the company complies with our Collective Bargaining Agreement. They also make sure that our members comply as well.
No Light Duty.

I had hoped to return on the 23rd but my Doctor's restrictions appear to have been a bit too strict, so I will have to continue to recouperate at home. I am doing well and my knee has a little swelling remaining but it is getting stronger every day. I appreciate the calls I have received wishing me a speedy recovery. With my Doctor's blessings, I will be back very soon.

Union Affairs

The contract proposal is near completion. As you know I cannot go into detail for the fact that Management in Los Angeles as well as Chicago visit this site on a regular basis. The Negotiation Committee and International Representive Mike Huggins will be meeting again very soon to get closer to finalizing our Contract proposal. No negotiation dates have been reached as yet either.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


August 21, 2007

Tribune Shareholders Approve Merger Agreement

CHICAGO, August 21, 2007 -- Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB) announced that Tribune shareholders have approved the merger agreement entered into in connection with the companys previously announced going-private transaction. At the companys special shareholders meeting today in Chicago, approximately 97 percent of the shares voted were cast in favor of the merger. The number of shares voted in favor of the merger represented approximately 65 percent of the total shares outstanding and entitled to vote at the meeting.

"We're pleased that Tribune shareholders recognize the value of this transaction and have voted overwhelmingly to approve it," said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman, president and chief executive officer.
"With financing fully committed, we anticipate closing the transaction in the fourth quarter, following FCC approval and satisfaction of the other closing conditions."

Sam Zell said, "I believe Tribune Company is reasserting itself as a national leader in news generation and distribution. Despite the recent upheaval in the credit markets, my view of the company as an investment has not changed."

Monday, August 20, 2007

How Solid Is the Deal for Tribune?

How Solid Is the Deal for Tribune?
Published: August 20, 2007

When Tribune Company shareholders gather tomorrow in Chicago to approve an $8.2 billion plan to take the company private, an uncomfortable question is sure to be on many of their minds: Will this deal fall apart?

The people involved say no, but the market seems to have its doubts.

A lot has changed since April 2, when Tribune and Sam Zell, the real estate billionaire, announced the complex takeover. What looked then like a moderate slump in stock prices in the newspaper industry has turned into something worse, with Tribune suffering more than most, and the credit markets the company will rely on to shoulder its debt having gone from easy to tight.

The deal promised $34 a share for a stock that had been selling around $30. In May, Tribune bought back half its outstanding shares, with plans to buy the other half in the fourth quarter.

But since then, the trading price has sunk, at one point last Tuesday dipping below $25 — the lowest, adjusted for splits, in nine years. In deal-making circles, a small discount for uncertainty until a transaction closes is standard. But in this kind of situation, with Friday’s closing share price of $25.67, it’s another matter, a discount of nearly 25 percent.

“A lot of people are betting it won’t get done, at least not at that price,” said Dave Novosel, senior analyst at the market research firm Gimme Credit. “From the beginning, it was dicey whether cash flow going forward was good enough to cover the debt, and Tribune has been struggling since then — declining revenue, weaker margins".

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Laird Travel Air Sightseeing

If you enjoy Sightseeing and Flying,
why not do both?
Rides in a Beautifully Restored TravelAir 4000
If you're interested, check out
or call Charlie Laird @ (909) 773-8430
50% off for All L.A.Times Employees, Family and Friends!
For more information see bottom of blog page

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tribune Transaction will create Bankruptcy

Tribune Deal Background and Future

Just how DANGEROUS to us employees is the Tribune Sale to Sam Zell? Click on Sam's Money to find out!

Revenue Projections Source: Tribune projections from DEFM14A filing July 13, 2007.

Analysts include Craig Huber (Lehman Brothers) report dated June 25, 2007;

Alexia Quadrani (Bear Stearns) report dated July 25, 2007;

Paul Ginocchio (Deutsche Bank) report dated July 9, 2007

Take Back the Times: Sam Zell To Speak At LAT In Period Of Crisis

Take Back the Times: Sam Zell To Speak At LAT In Period Of Crisis

Tribune Employees Financial Protection Committee Newsletter

Tribune Employees’ Financial Protection Committee
Issue 1 Vol. 1 August 2007

Welcome to the Tribune Employees'Financial Protection Committee,
a voluntary organization of Tribune employees concerned for the long-term viability of our company and the economic security of our families.


Will Management Answer Concerns of Employee Owners?

Tribune's meeting for shareholders to approve the company's sale will convene at 9:00 a.m., August 21, 2007, at Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago

A majority of outstanding shareholders will undoubtedly vote to support the transaction proposed to buy back outstanding shares at a $34 per share price; a price well above today's trading price which has been steadily plummeting since the company's buyout was announced. Unfortunately, it is Tribune employees that bear the risk.

The deal, which transfers ownership of the company to its employees and billions of dollars of new debt through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) provides no voice for employees in the governance of either the ESOP or the operating company.

Since the deal was announced, the company and its handpicked ESOP trustee, Great Banc, have leveraged our livelihoods by taking on $7 billion in debt. They agreed to higher than expected interest rates and shortened repayment periods in order to secure the financing. The market responded and Tribune's share price has plummeted 17%. Analysts now warn that Tribune may not be able to service the debt or secure the financing for the second half of the deal.

Tribune employees and employee owners need answers to important questions.

For example:

  • What happens if the company is unable to secure financing for the 2nd half of the deal We're already carrying $7 billion in debt and our company is in a downward spiral. Selling the Chicago Cubs won't cover it, so what is the company's plan?

  • The company and its handpicked ESOP trustee agreed to extraordinary terms to secure the financing for the first half of the deal--which may not be able to be paid. It has been widely reported that the banks will be reluctant to loan Tribune the money it needs to close the deal, and if so at what new cost?. What protections (other than going to court) are in place for ESOP participants to avoid billion of dollars in further debt?

  • Is the Board seeking a plan B? Are other scenarios being considered to protect the long-term interests of the company, the employees or the communities we serve?

The real question is will management face its employees and shareholders and answer these important questions?

It's Our Company, It's Our Future!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: One Door Closes, and Another Door Opens

Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: One Door Closes, and Another Door Opens

Yes it is true! This is how the family tree branches extend and the discovery was made. My Mother -in Law was visiting her cousin Margaret and Margaret began telling my mother in-law about their cousin Molly losing her grandson Bryan in an auto accident on Azusa days earlier. My mother in-law was already aware having heard of the accident from my wife. It was then that she realzed it was "Dougies" son Bryan. We know dougie as "Ed"

So in short my mother in law and Ed's Mom Molly are cousin's making my wife and Ed 2nd cousins.

It is a small world, and getting smaller!

Trial dissects roles at newspaper

Trial dissects roles at newspaper

A fight between employees and Santa Barbara News-Press' owner-publisher raises journalistic questions.

By James Rainey, Los Angeles Times Staff WriterAugust 15, 2007

SANTA BARBARA -- After a year of name calling, serial litigation and dozens of newsroom defections, American journalism's nastiest in-house squabble debuted in a courtroom here Tuesday.

Attorneys for eight fired journalists accused Santa Barbara News-Press owner Wendy McCaw of trying to quash a union organizing drive, while the publisher's lead lawyer argued that the employees overstepped their authority and tried to seize control of the newspaper.

The case contrasts two approaches to journalism and raises questions about how much an owner or a publisher should be involved in determining what ends up in print.The case has become a cause celebre among journalists nationally and to the residents of Santa Barbara largely because of McCaw's combative stance toward her former employees. The 56-year-old publisher has three other legal cases pending against her former editor, a local alternative newspaper and a reporter for a national journalism review who was critical of the paper's management.

In recent op-ed pieces, McCaw has depicted herself as a lonely holdout for journalistic standards against an ethically bankrupt -- and biased -- mainstream media.

The National Labor Relations Board's complaint against the News Press cites nearly 20 instances in which supervisors and others at the paper allegedly took improper actions against employees who planned to join the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters union. In addition to the terminations, the paper is accused of spying on and interrogating the union activists, issuing reprimands and poor performance appraisals, and canceling the weekly column of writer Starshine Roshell, who subsequently left the paper.

During opening arguments Tuesday, Ira Gottlieb, a lawyer for a division of the Teamsters Union, told an administrative law judge hearing the case for the NLRB that the fired journalists and other employees subjected to discipline only wanted a fair say in the future of a newspaper they cared about.

Our Attorney Ira (Buddy) Gottlieb is representing the 8 fired Santa Barbara employees in this case.
To read the full story click here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: Services For Bryan Padgett

Funeral:Tuesday, August 14th 10:30 am
St Elizabeth Ann Seton Church
1835 Larkvane Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Phone: (626) 964-3629
(Ed's children prefer for the viewing to be small. Family only, please. But please do come to the funeral. Thank you.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: A Parents Worst NIGHTMARE!

Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: A Parents Worst NIGHTMARE!

Our Deepest Sympathies and Prayers go out to Ed Padgett and Family for their loss.

Do you remember what we had?

Surprises we had over the years, everyone of them started as rumors, sometimes it hurts to remember...

1992 - 14 Management Heads (Publisher, President, VP's Editors etc.)
- Presses 12 Units
- 11 man Crews
- Facilities Department replaced by outside company
- Part-time Mailroom Employees Laid-off

1993 - Presses now 20 Units
- Crews reduced to 8 & 9 person crews
- Employee Buy-out

1994 - Company Rate Increase on wages terminated

1995 - Another Employee Buy-out
- Company layoffs! (Approximately 2,200 company wide)
- Beginning of Insurance Rate increases employees must contribute
- C.E.O. Mark H. Willes comes on board

1996 - 30 year cap put in place! Employees lose up to 25% of Retirement pay!
- Departments continue to reduce staffing

1997 - Cross Training is introduced. (We don't even get training in our own
department for those who need it.)

1998 - Employees suffer another insurance increase for Domestic Partner Benefits
- Another Buyout!
- Company layoffs! ( approximately 850 victims)
1999 - Retiree's Medical Benefits cut

2000 - Employees terminated after 1 year of LTD (Long Term Disability) instead of
2.5 years
- Short Term Disability increased to 8 day waiting period!
- More Layoffs! (32 in other Departments)
- Pressroom Waste incentive bonuse$ eliminated!
- Now 34 Management Heads (same titles as described above)
- C.E.O. Mark H. Willes leaves the company with reports of 64 to 90 Million
- Tribune takes control of Times Mirror!
- Medical departments at all plants closed and staff laid off.

2001 - 5th week of vacation eliminated! (Those with less than 15 years of full-time
- Truck Drivers and Mechanics laid-off ( Ryder hires L.A.Times Drivers at lower
wages and benefits)
Voluntary Retirement Program offered. Another buyout!

2002 - Wage freeze!
- 1st color, 2nd color and Tension Specialist positions abolished
- Crews reduced to 5 person crews.
- Press cleaners budget reduced by 50%

2003 - Crews restructured to 5, 6, and 7 person crews
- Mailroom and Newsprint departments merge

2004 - 1% of workforce laid-off (Voluntary and in-voluntary separations)
- Pressroom cleaners budget reduced 50% once again
- presses now 23 units!

2005 - Presidents Day and Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday holidays eliminated.
Given 2 floating holidays instead, which you must use or forfeit them
- Sick days bank eliminated, All unused days are forfeited (TAKEN from you!)
- Unit 12 converted into a 4-high back to back tower! No additional staffing
for increase in printing couples.
- 4 day work schedule introduced (Work longer hours to achieve overtime)
- Eliminated Roller Crew Picks (management selected)
- Safety Bingo introduced! (Someone please tell me how this improves safety!)
- Premium overtime after 12 hours instead of 10.
- Prescription Safety eye-ware program discontinued
- Ninety Day probations implemented and enforced
(Demotions and Terminations take place.)
- Savings Plus Defined 401K Plan replaced with Tribune
401K which is a " Cash Balance Plan in disguise.
- Security Cameras and key card devices installed at facilities in
response to 9/11 (Even though some cameras face work areas and not the
- Inquisition style review panel formed to intimidate workers from reporting

2006- NORTHRIDGE PLANT CLOSED! 47 more pressroom
positions eliminated! (110 Positions total from all departments)
- Money for a New V.P. discovered! Welcome Russ Newton
- An additional $200 million dollars in cuts sought by Management.

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