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 admin@saveourtrade.com 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

TRIBUNE COMPANY PRESS RELEASE

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?
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
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 http://www.flywiththebarnstormer.com/
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
NEWS
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.

TRIBUNE TO HOLD SHAREHOLDER MEETING AUGUST 21

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
Dollars!
- 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
service)
- 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
doors!)
- Inquisition style review panel formed to intimidate workers from reporting
work related injuries. (GET AN ATTORNEY FOR ALL WORK RELATED INJURIES!)

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.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Know Your Rights!

Weingarten Rights
:

The rights of employees covered by the NLRA to request union representation during investigatory interviews if they reasonably believe that the interview could result in their being disciplined. Weingarten rights also guarantee the rights of union representatives to assist and counsel employees during interviews which could lead to discipline.

I have been asked if another person may accompany an individual as a witness, if an individual is being asked to answer questions by supervision that may involve disciplinary action against them and above are our rights named after a 1975 Supreme Court Decision, NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Get Involved! Fight for RESPECT!

Dear Mr. Pineda:

Thank you for writing to me to express your views on S.969, the Re-empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradesworkers (RESPECT) Act. I appreciate hearing from you, and I share your strong support for this bill.

As you may know, in October 2006 the National Labor Relations Board issued decisions in three cases, collectively known as the " Kentucky River " cases. These NLRB decisions addressed supervisor classification issues that had been left open by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2001 decision in NLRB v. Kentucky River Community Care, Inc . The NLRB's Bush-appointed majority found that permanent charge nurses exercise supervisory authority and are therefore ineligible for union representation.

The NLRB's decision, which details the technical definition of "supervisor," means that hundreds of thousands of skilled workers will face reclassification and will lose their right to union protection and collective bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act. This is an outrage and a grave disservice to those who have fought and continue to fight for the right of working Americans to form and join unions .

The RESPECT Act would reverse this injustice by modifying the definition of "supervisor" to ensure that no employee is unfairly denied their right to unionize. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill, and I will fight vigorously for its passage.

Again, thank you for writing to me about this important issue. Be assured that I will continue to support the right of working Americans to organize for better wages, be nefits, and working conditions.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator
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