Friday, February 15, 2008

Pressroom Buy-Outs?

Since the announcement of pending cuts to staffing here at the Los Angeles Times, (again) I have been asked about Pressroom Buy-Outs. I am not aware of buy-outs being offered to pressroom employees. I called our International Representative Mike Huggins this morning to inform him that there are pressroom employees that will again wish to participate in the buy-out process and his reply was, " if they (the company) don't offer buy-outs to pressroom employees, there is nothing we can do about it".

During the last round of buy-outs, (2006) there were pressroom employees that were interested and willing to accept a buy-out, but were told that it was because of the Union that they could not offer them to our Dept. Believing that to be false, I asked GCC/IBT President George Tedeschi if there was anything that could be done to notify the company that pressroom employees were willing to depart.
President Tedeschi was informed by his sources in Chicago that the fact that we organized had nothing to do with their decision to not offer buy-outs in our pressrooms and that the company had no desire to reduce staffing at that time.
Considering the staffing levels we are currently operating at, I cannot foresee any reductions in staffing that would not have a further negative effect on the already excessive overtime necessary to produce the products we are currently printing at both facilities.
I'm sure this issue will be raised during our next negotiations so I will keep you all informed on this matter as it develops, but as of this moment, no buy-outs have been offered to the pressroom employees. Any buy-outs for pressroom employees are subject to collective bargaining

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