Saturday, July 28, 2007

Take Back the Times: NYTimes Business Skill, Tribune Ineptitude

Take Back the Times: NYTimes Business Skill, Tribune Ineptitude

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Teamsters Shop Steward Training

The Teamsters will be holding a Training Class for Shop Stewards on Saturday September 15th 2007 in Monrovia. Anyone who is interested in becoming a Shop Steward should not miss this class. There is no cost to attend or for training materials you will receive in this course.

This training is open to anyone who is interested in the information it will provide. It will give an understanding of what a shop steward's duties, rights and responsibility's are to the members, and how to enforce our contract, as well as cover the Grievence Process.
If you're interested in attending this training class, contact me at
or you can RSVP directly by calling (626) 357-6476

Please RSVP soon so that sufficient necessary materials can be ordered and available for everyone. It will be an all day class starting at 10:00 am lasting approximately 8 hours. Don't let that discourage you from attending! You can get a wealth of information in this class and the more informed people in the shop the better.

Use this training class as an opportunity to get involved and obtain an education in Shop Steward training. Who knows, you may decide you would like to become a shop steward after attending this class.


lunch will be provided

Tribune Proxy Statement Dated July 13th 2007

You should all be receiving your Proxy Statement to vote on the proposed "Merger Agreement" (sale) with/to Sam Zell at the shareholders meeting on August 21st in Chicago.

I seriously doubt any of us will be in attendance so I suggest you read the contents of this mailing. The question and answers is very interesting reading and I'd like to point out paragraph 2 on page 14.

Question:"How does the ESOP intend to vote?"
Answer: The ESOP currently holds and is entitled to vote 8,928,571 shares of Company Common Stock, representing approximately 7% of the outstanding shares. The ESOP intends to vote all it's shares of Company Stock in favor of the adoption of the Merger Agreement and approval of the Merger.

This is exactly what Teamster Executive President James Hoffa spoke out against at the previous shareholders meeting.
(See letter)
An "Employee Stock Ownership Plan" in which the employee's voice is absent, should not be considered an "ESOP" This Corporation is exploiting the tax loophole that allows them to create an ESOP and place all the liability on the worker's future while denying them any opportunity to vote the shares in the ESOP to their best interest.

Does this sound like Taxation without Representation?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sam Zell completes purchase of EMG stake

Sam Zell completes purchase of EMG stake

Lior Baron 17 Jul 07 10:39

Zell will buy the shares from Hussein Salem.
Egypt’s East Mediterranean Gas Co. (EMG) continues to draw investors from overseas. The latest to join is American Jewish financier Sam Zell who has acquired 12% of EMG for $250-260 million.
Zell will acquire his stake through a company he will set up together with real estate tycoon David Fisher. Zell will own 60% of the new company and Fisher will own the rest. The acquisition of the stake in EMG reflects a value of $2.2 billion for the Egyptian company, a similar value to recent deals involving institutional shareholders.

Zell and Fisher will buy the share from Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem, a close associate of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Salam's 65% stake in EMG will be reduced to 50-55% following the sale.

EMG, in which Joseph (Yossi) Maiman is also a partner, is set to become Israel's key supplier of natural gas from 2008.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 17, 2007
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

( It appears $ is the going price to control a corporation these days! Anyone want to chip in and create a pool and see what we can buy. Maybe we can get Microsoft for about $500.000.000.00........if that's not enough, we can always create an ESOP!)


Monday, July 16, 2007

Negotiation Committee Members meet with GCC/IBT International Representative Mike Huggins

The Elected Negotiation Committee Members met for the first time with our GCC/IBT International Representative Mike Huggins. Mike has been in the Union for over 30 years and brings a vast history of experience as a President of his Local, an Organizer and currently as an International Representative. Mike has organized numerous shops and negotiated numerous contracts. I am confident that with Mike's leadership and a very committed Negotiation Committee, we will persevere in creating and negotiating a fair and long overdue collective bargaining agreement.

Mike provided The Committee Members with literature to review so that we can prepare ourselves for, and to understand what to expect in negotiations.

The Union Members Complete Guide Everything you want-and need-to know about working Union
by Michael Mauer

This book is excellent to familiarize yourselves with subjects such as "What are Unions?" "The Union's Responsibilty to it's Members" and more importantly
"Your Role in Your Union"
I encourage everyone to get a copy and learn the truth about working in a Union Shop.

Our meeting with Mike was very productive and educational. The Committee disclosed the issues that led us to organizing our shops as well as the concerns we have regarding current and future conditions in our shops. The surveys will provide Mike with details on many of the subjects we discussed in our meeting and will give Mike an understanding of what we seek in our "first" contract.

We intend on completing our contract proposal within a matter of weeks and hopefully begin negotiations within the next couple of months or less. Dates and times for negotiations will be scheduled by our Attorney Ira Gottlieb, Mike Huggins and representatives for the Company. Once a schedule is agreed to, negotiations will begin.

The Negotiation Committee will be meeting again on July 24th to review the contract proposal (draft) and make sure that we have completely addressed all of our terms and conditions in writing.

If you should have any questions, by all means, ask your Committee Members.

In Solidarity!

Update: Mike moved our meeting one day forward, so The Negotiation Committee will meet instead on the 25th.


A Pillar of American Democracy

The American labor movement – twenty million strong – is vital to a free America. The freedom to join a union is one of our fundamental rights. Unions have given working people a voice in their working conditions, and have enabled them to build a better future for themselves and their children. The importance of unions in America has been recognized by our Presidents throughout the years.

RONALD W. REAGAN “Unions represent some of the freest institutions in this land. There are few finer examples of participatory democracy to be found anywhere.”

JIMMY CARTER “It’s almost impossible to separate the trade union movement of this world from freedom.”

JOHN F. KENNEDY “The American labor movement has consistently demonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is, and has been, good for all America.”

HARRY S. TRUMAN “The right to join a union of one’s choice is unquestioned today, and is sanctioned and protected by law.”

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT “If I were a worker in a factory, the first thing I would do would be to join a union.”

LYNDON B. JOHNSON “The AFL-CIO has done more good for more people than any other group in America.”

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER “Only a handful of unreconstructed reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking union and of depriving working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.”

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rick Wartzman's American Prospect Article

Organizing the L.A. Times Pressrooms
Rick Wartzman July 11, 2007 web only

How the press workers at the Los Angeles Times bucked the paper's legacy and organized at the notoriously anti-union employer.

It's tough to imagine what Gen. Harrison Gray Otis -- the bellicose press baron with the steely gaze and a speaking voice once likened to "that of a game warden roaring at seal poachers" -- would make of his family's recent decision to sever the last of its ties with the Los Angeles Times.

The 19th-century publisher, were he looking down upon this vale, couldn't be too happy that his descendants have walked away from the paper he built. At the same time, Otis was a savvy enough businessman that he might at least take some pleasure from the terms of their exit: When all is said and done, his scions will have pocketed about $3.5 billion from their sale of parent Times Mirror Company to Tribune Company.
And yet there's another development at the Times that would undoubtedly elicit no such mixed emotions from the general.

On this, he'd be sour through and through: The National Labor Relations Board last month, in turning back an appeal from the company, certified the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as the bargaining agent for workers at the Times' two printing facilities, in Los Angeles and Orange County. Only a few hundred jobs are affected. But, in its own way, the Teamsters' triumph could portend a bigger comeback for the labor movement around the country.
One of the primary reasons that the union prevailed at the newspaper was a feeling among the employees that they've been asked to work a lot harder without getting much in return; pay increases in recent years have been paltry at best. In this era of stagnating wages and deteriorating benefits -- amid big gains in productivity -- that's a set of circumstances hardly unique to the Times.
It's no wonder that a new batch of research suggests workers across the United States are hungrier than ever for union representation, according to a recent Economic Policy Institute study.

Mostly, though, the Teamsters' success is remarkable historically and symbolically, capping L.A.'s decades-long transformation from a non-union city to one in which organized labor is an unusually potent force.
"This was a long time coming," says Jim Santangelo, a Teamsters' international vice president for the Western region. "That newspaper has always hated unions -- and I mean hate."
Rick Wartzman, director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University and an Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation, is a former editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Tribune Employees:

It’s Time We Take Ownership of Our Future!

Real estate tycoon Sam Zell’s ingenious plan to control the Tribune
Company by transferring billions of dollars of debt to an Employee Stock
Ownership Plan (ESOP) while denying employees a voice in the governance
of the plan or the company--puts our jobs, retirement security
and families’ futures at risk!

The ESOP, which is now governed by a sole trustee appointed by
Tribune management, has already amassed more than $7 billion in debt
to buy back 50% of Tribune’s shares at $34 a share. In order to secure
the financing, the company had to agree to higher than anticipated
interest rates and an accelerated repayment schedule.

Some analysts predict that Tribune may have a hard time securing
financing for the additional $4.2 billion second phase of the deal. If the
deal falls through, the value of our stock could plummet--one analyst
predicting as much as 88%. If the sale is completed, Tribune will have
so much debt that it will be vulnerable to defaulting on its loans, which
could land the company in bankruptcy or force the company to slash
jobs and sell assets. Without a voice – all Tribune employees are at risk.

We cannot afford to let Sam Zell, Tribune management or their
“not-so-great” bank run our company into the ground. We must
demand a seat at the table before it is too late!
Join the Tribune Employees’ Financial Protection Committee
Go to: to sign up.

It’s Our Company, Our Future
Demand a Say Today!
Tribune Employees:
It’s Time We Take Ownership of Our Future!

Thank you, Carin Zelenko Director IBT Capital Strategies Department

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Wishing all of you and your families a Happy and Safe 4th of July from
The Pineda Family. To all our Brothers and Sisters who have family and friends currently abroad in the Armed Services, our prayers are with your loved ones and our heart felt thanks to them for fighting for our freedoms that we celebrate on this day.

God bless America...............and all of you!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

LATFCU Not for long...

I remember the days when The Los Angeles Times Federal Credit Union was strictly for the employees, ran by employees. Always knew that when I needed some extra money for a vacation, a new car, etc. the Credit Union would be there for me, even if my credit rating was not perfect, I knew that my Credit Union was there for me. Then, in the good name of adjusting to new changes and growing as an institution. I guess bigger and better it is not always good for us. In the process of becoming bigger and better, it turned out to be just like any other bank. Thank you for the memories, soon to be, CitySide Federal Credit Union. Another legacy of The Tribune Co.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Black Monday at the Merc

July. 2, 2007

Today, the San Jose Mercury News loses the talents of more than 40 journalists in a combination of layoffs and resignations demanded by the California Newspaper Partnership, a consortium owned by MediaNews, Gannett and Stephens Media. These 40 journalists represent hundreds of years of service to the Mercury News and to hundreds of thousands of readers. They are reporters, editors, photographers, copy editors, designers, graphic artists, support staff and librarians. They take with them their knowledge of what makes San Jose and Silicon Valley a special place.

This would be a blow at any time but it comes on the heels of nearly two years of deecost-cutting. Since 2000, the newsroom at the Mercury News has been cut in half from about 400 journalists to 200 full-time positions.

This bloodletting has to stop.

San Jose deserves a great newspaper. Silicon Valley deserves a great newspaper. There are hundreds of stories to be told about changing communities, cutting edge technologies, pop culture and high art, school boards and government. Who will tell these stories?

The newspaper industry is in turmoil across the country as information moves to the Internet. The answer to this threat from our parent company is to cut staff and damage the newspaper – both in print and online. We, the members of the San Jose Newspaper Guild know that the success of this transition depends on investment in technology and investment in journalists.

We want to be partners in the growth of the Mercury News and We don’t want to be a part in the dismantling of a newspaper that has served Northern California for more than 150 years.

So we urge our supporters to make their home page. We ask you to sign up for our email newsletters with news that interests you, click here, we ask that you tell us where our coverage lacks and what interests you.

Most of all, we ask that you demand a great newspaper. You deserve it.


July 2, 2007

Tribune Announces Special Shareholder Meeting

CHICAGO, July 2, 2007 -- Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB) today announced that
a special shareholders meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 21, to
consider approval of the merger agreement entered into in connection
with the company’s previously announced going-private transaction.
Shareholders of record at the close of business on July 12, 2007, will
be entitled to vote at the meeting.

The special meeting will be held in Chicago, Illinois. The exact time
and location of the meeting will be announced in the definitive proxy
materials for the meeting, which will be filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission and sent to shareholders of record later this

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