Wednesday, October 17, 2007

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!


Anonymous said...

Ed said...
"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..."

You are only partially correct in your statement Ed. Changes will come. Changes are inevitable and will come following a contract or decertification. It is only that neverland between union certification and acceptance of a contract that things will likely stay the same.

Toot your horn on this one Ed. The final score of the game will be known soon. Getting free food from the cafeteria (gag!) for a few months may be your greatest, and only victory.

Ronnie Pineda said...

For the record, those are not Ed's words, they are mine. Here are some more.

You are completely wrong in assuming my statement is partially correct.

You didn't say anything different than I did in my statement, you just refer to it as neverland. This is not a fantasy, the reality is many of us may not be there right now had we not won this election, and many of us believe that strongly. You can believe what you want.

The changes that will come will be changes that we finally have an actual voice in. These will be changes that you will be asked to vote on. Now tell me, before now when have you ever had that right.
Yes, I said right, thats what union representation gives us.

You may still have been willing to accept whatever the company decided to do to us, but a majority of us no longer did, and this settlement is not our first and certainly not only victory.

Winning our organizing campaign was a major victory, not only for pressroom employees but for the labor movement in Los Angeles and California as a whole.

We won our NLRB decisions at the Regional level as well as in Washington challenging our election results. Victories 2 and 3
by my count.

This settlement is our latest victory not because the company will resume the meal tickets, but that it 100% proves that our pressrooms are to remain unchanged until we negotiate differently, and a majority agree to ratify these negotiated changes. I'd say that would qualify as victory number four.

Now victory number five is by far the one that convince even you (Anonymous)!
(I wish you guy's would have the courage to use your names by now, what are you still afraid of?)

"You guy's are gonna lose your bust-out's if you vote for the union" How many times did you hear that one?

In L.A. John Walker and his supervisors were creating extra cleaning duties to be performed after their runs were completed taking away their bust-outs.
The NLRB apparently agreed that this was a violation of our rights under section 7 of the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) and was preparing to charge the company with these violations, thus the company offered this settlement to the NLRB, and we did not object.

On November 1st our negotiation committee will meet with management to present our contract proposals. This is our greatest victory by far....but even after all I've written here, you (anonymous) will remain negative and skeptical. End of lesson.

Ed Padgett said...

Thanks for the correction Ronnie, I guess our blogs look so similar users can not tell one blog from the other?

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