Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Anti-Union Meetings In other L.A.Times Departments

I was informed this afternoon that SVP Russ Newton was in Orange County today and during his meeting he took the opportunity to advise our fellow employees in the Mailroom that they shouldn't seek to organize their shops. I was surprised to hear that some of his comments may have implied "Promises" that are in fact illegal to make.

Neither the Company, (Russ) or the Union can make Guarantees or Promises when addressing employees on Union Organizing. Russ should not be telling employees that the company can, or will do something for them if the employees refuse organizing efforts in their departments. That's Illegal!

This is an example of their (managements) FEAR that we intend to grow our numbers by helping protect our peers in other departments from Tribune, and now our new owner. We need them, and they need us. We are all in this together no matter which department we work in, many of us came from other departments to begin with. We should not allow Russ or any other manager to "LIE" to our friends and co-workers in the Mailroom or any other department just to prevent them from having a voice and representation for themselves.

Unity should not stop at the Pressroom walls, all of us should be reaching out to mailers, platemakers, newsprint handlers, and mechanics. There are strength in numbers and we can only get stronger and louder together. When you see a Mailer, let him or her know the TRUTH about The Union and encourage them to find out the truth behind the Lies Russ is now trying to spread in The Mailroom.

Let's not miss the opportunity to tell them the truth. I'm sure that the fact that we are being overlooked in this Buy-Out is a good place to start. Let them know that we will be there to answer any and all questions pertaining to Russ's meeting with them today. The truth will always prevail and our friends and family in the Mailroom will know who they can believe and trust.

Unity and Solidarity must spread across departmental boundries in order to protect as many of our jobs as possible! Go talk to them, but be careful, you cannot disturb anyone while they are working or in their respective departments. Before work, after work, at lunch, in the cafeteria, breakrooms and locker rooms are places and times that you can share your information.

Let them all know that we chose to stand up for ourselves, and we are willing to stand by their sides as well!

Security in Solidarity!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ron Pineda,

You are correct that Russ held a meeting with OC mailers on Wednesday 5/9/07. However, your post contains some very incorrect information.

I was at the meeting. I would appreciate it if you would please post this reply. It is my account of what was said as well as my reaction to some of your statements.

Pineda stated: “…Unity should not stop at the pressroom wall…”
My take: Unity first needs to start within the pressroom walls. A vote of 131 to 140 is not unity. If it were, you could say the Hatfields and McCoys stood united or the Union and Confederacy were brothers in solidarity. Pretending our pressroom is more united today will not help us get where we need to go.

Pineda stated: “…our friends and family in the mailroom…Let them know that we chose to stand up for ourselves, and we are willing to stand by their sides as well…”
My take: What are you proposing, hug-a-mailer day? After years of shoving it up our a** why, all of a sudden, do you want to pullout and stand by our side?

Pineda wrote: “…We are all in this together no matter which department we work in…”
My take: You are right, we are all in this together! Together we must figure out how we can bring outside print jobs and more work into this plant and produce it efficiently. All this employee-against-company stuff diverts energy from doing the things that will actually save our jobs.

Pineda wrote: “…I was surprised to hear that some of his (Russ) comments may have implied promises that are in fact illegal…Russ should not be telling employees that the company can, or will do something for them if the employees refuse organizing efforts in their departments…”
My take: You should be surprised, as Russ said none of those things at the meeting I attended. In fact, it was not really an anti-union, pro-union, or anything-union meeting. I’d estimate about 1/4 of the time had anything to do with unions. Russ did say people have the right to unionize if they want to. He did recommend people find the facts and make thoughtful, not emotional, decisions. Also, he suggested a wait-and-watch strategy might be a good one as the Teamsters and The Times will soon begin good-faith negotiations.

Pineda wrote: “…Let them (mailers) know that we will be there to answer any and all questions pertaining to Russ’s meeting with them today…”
My take: How are you going to do that when you were not at the meetings and are already posting screwed up accounts of what occurred? Please, you are not my source for information.

Pineda wrote: “…Unity and solidarity must spread across departmental boundaries in order to protect as many of our jobs as possible!…”
My take: I agree whole-heartedly. I see this as departments working together to excel and make our services attractive to other newspapers and publications. We need to take advantage of the difficulties in our industry by offering superior, lower cost print services to businesses like the Orange County Register. If we can’t accomplish this, we all better start training for another career.

Ronnie Pineda said...

You are correct, I was not at the meetings. The source of my post was and I am going on their account of what was said. The information was re-verified before the post was published. You state that he asked employees to "wait and watch" which is exactly what should not be done. Management will say anything to prevent any other departments from organizing as we did. They won't have to bargain with them as they soon will with the pressroom employees.

I worked in the mailroom for eighteen years and I understand the the rivalry between the pressroom and the mailroom but this goes beyond the senseless feuds we have cultivated for years.

We cannot operate our presses if you don't keep your equiptment up and running and vice versa. Hug a mailer is a bit extreme but I do think we need to recognize who our real adversary is, and it certainly is not eachother.

I would welcome an opportunity to speak to you directly,but as many others, you chose to post your comment anonymously.

I caution readers to discern the writers comments because they have many of management's overtones and may have been written by management to prevent mailers and presspersons from communicating with eachother.

Any time management mentions the union.....it's an anti-union meeting. "Wait and Watch" is dangerous to everyone who does.

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