Monday, April 23, 2007

Buy-Outs/Layoffs in the GCC/IBT Represented Los Angeles Times Pressrooms?

I spoke with GCC/IBT Organizer, Marty Keegan this morning regarding the announced "CUTS" at our Newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, and he informed me that as soon as he was aware of the proposed cut's here, he contacted GCC/IBT Lawyers in Washington D.C.

According to Marty and the GCC/IBT Attorneys, "we are safe from any cut's and or lay-offs" for the simple fact that we won our Election for Union Representation, and any buyouts or layoffs are subject to collective bargaining. If management wishes to offer buy-out's in our shops, they must negotiate the terms of the buy-out first. Any arbitrary actions taken by the Company without Union Representation for any involved Pressroom Employees will be grounds for unfair labor practice charges to be filed against the company. A "Buy-Out" is nothing more than a "Layoff" which results in staffing reductions. Staffing levels are a main bargaining issue and are subject to collective bargaining.

If offered to Pressroom employees at this time, any (Union Negotiated) buy-outs will NOT be viewed by "The Bargaining Unit"as an agreement with management in regards to resulting staffing levels after buy-out process is completed, and will consider staffing levels open for contract negotiations in collective bargaining .

We have yet to obtain any verifiable information as to whether any reductions are aimed at our pressrooms to begin with. We have no idea how many positions are targeted in production and the pressroom for that matter. I seem to remember our new Publisher, in his welcome to L.A. from Chicago meetings, state that he was aware of all the cuts we have faced in the pressrooms in the past. He mentioned the Northridge Facility closure specifically, and went on to give some reassurance that the production departments could not and would not be facing any more cut's this time around. I remember our new S.V.P. making the same statement in O.C. during the organizing campaign as well, I know many of you remember hearing the same.

I only wish that the Newsroom would have mobilized their workforce to organize as we have. It's never too late! I am deeply concerned for everyone else at our paper, because as "At Will" employees, there are absolutely no protections in place for our writers, editors, sales, composing, classified, production, maintainance, newsprint, platemaking, packaging and literally everyone else employed here at the Times. In my opinion, Middle Management is more vulnerable at this point in time than anyone, aside from editorial. There is a strong possibility that they're in Tribunes sites more than they have ever been in the past. We'll see how loyal Tribune Management is toward their supervisors for their anti-union efforts against us. You don't need to ask Jeff Johnson or Dean Baquet, or their latest departee, Mark Kurtich about "loyalty".

We anxiously await establishing contact with anyone who is interested in getting information to organize your fellow workers, in your respective departments and are willing to join us in the pressroom in our effort to restore the security of our jobs and benefits here at The Los Angeles Times. Any interested parties, regardless of what department you are employed, feel free to contact us, Pressman/Union Activist, Ronnie Pineda via e-mail at or Pressman/Union Activist, Dave Rascon in Los Angeles at You may also contact GCC/IBT Organizer, Marty Keegan directly at . Don't hesitate, No one stood up for us, so we stood up for ourselves! The Truth is we ALL need to stand together no matter which department we work in! Our voices will become even louder when we unite them throughout the company.

The Pressroom is Safer than it has ever been!

Let's help our brothers and sisters throughout The Company get the security we voted for! Unity, Education & Representation,


In Solidarity,


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