Monday, June 30, 2008

Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: In Memory of Ken Reich

Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: In Memory of Ken Reich#links

Rest in Peace Ken Reich

In Memory of a True Fighter!
Your inspiration lives on!
Image courtesy of InkStainedRetch of TellZell

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Online Survey.

Sam Zell, Senior Management and Supervision are topics of an online survey I have created for the purpose of evaluating those who evaluate us.

I have wanted to create something like this survey for quite some time now and this website provided the opportunity to finally do so.

We have all sat down with a supervisor during an evaluation and felt that their evaluation of our performance was not quite as accurate as what we would consider to be a true assessment of our work. We are evaluated for our performance and it is proper that we do the same of our management and supervision. Do they manage and supervise in a manner that promotes productivity, cooperation and teamwork, or do they do just the opposite? You can let each of them know in this survey. We will evaluate each of their performance using the same "H" (Highly proficient) "P" (Proficient) and "N" (Needs improvement) grading system used to rate our performance in the same "General Competencies" areas of:
Communication Skills
Problem Solving Skills

You can take this survey only once, if you don't complete it, you can return where you left off.
Be sure to inform everyone and direct them to the survey, the more responses we receive the better. No one should miss this opportunity to respond to important questions I have heard many of you ask.

Results will be compiled and revealed when the survey closes on July 15, 2008 at 12:00 am
Click here to take the survey now. The survey was created with, a free online survey software.
The survey is now open. I corrected a problem this morning and it is now available to take.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sam Zell strikes again. This whole ESOP bullshit and implying that the employees are owners and partners is insulting. We would never support the decision to sell these historic properties or as Zell states, "maximize their value" Who will see the proceeds from these transactions? Not the ESOP "Partners", the "Lender" partners get their cut first and there wont be anything left when they're done.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

KFWB 980 AM Radio Spots

Radio ads informing union members in Los Angeles and Orange County of our efforts to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement are scheduled to air Monday, June 23rd, on KFWB News 980 AM.

Fired Santa Barbara Newspress Reporter Tom Schultz can be heard delivering our message to all union members listening to KFWB 980 am all week long and online at

We wish Tom and all of the reporters who were unlawfully terminated for union activity at Santa Barbara NewsPress the very best in their battle against Owner Wendy McCaw. Obey the law, Wendy McCaw!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Support From Local 406 Newsday


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 16th & 17 Negotiations Update

As expected, the company representatives immediately expressed their concern over our decision to communicate with our advertisers. The exchange did get pretty heated with both sides defending their positions. They are aware of our rights under the NLRA and also realize we were within our rights in doing so.

Naturally we expected some criticism for this decision, but those who support our effort to negotiate a fair collective bargaining agreement understood that there is only one way to get management's attention, and that is financially.
It works on all of us, hit our wallet and they've got our attention too!

Money was the only thing Tribune valued, not the name "Los Angeles Times" nor the newspaper it proudly sits on the masthead of, or it's employees for that matter; not to mention the city and surrounding counties it serves. Zell is no different. Zell wants to make money, not lose money, so whether you agreed or disagreed with contacting the advertisers, we believe we received the response we were hoping for at the table. We did not ask any advertiser to cancel their ads, but those advertisers that did contact the Times obviously raised the concerns of Management.

None of us honestly wants to hurt the company and actually want to help build circulation and advertising within the labor community which we will when we negotiate a contract that a majority of you will ratify. As Marty stated in his letter to all of you, there are tens of thousands of union workers in and around Los Angeles and we can appeal to them for their support. They will respond, I guarantee!

We introduced language to get the negotiations on track and create a productive platform for negotiations which management agreed to the concept and counter proposed a condensed version with the same underlying objectives. We will review their counter proposal also to insure that it's language is unambiguous and is mutually understood before we tentatively agree to it.

The overall tone of this round of negotiations, albeit, started very confrontational, with our representative Sonny Shannon accusing the company of bargaining from a position of power, rather than from one of mutual interest, leveled off and we finally felt we were able to actually negotiate with the company.

We did discuss parking, lockers, security cameras and no-strike, no lock-out language and there is a good possibility we can get agreements on these what appear to be simple issues when we resume negotiations in July. The fact is there are no simple issues when it comes to putting language into a contract.

In solidarity!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day to all my Brothers.

Lest we forget!

Refresher Course in Lies and Cuts!

This man is becoming more dangerous with every loan repayment that lands on his desk.Is an ESOP an ESOP when all of the "E"s are gone? Employee Class Action? HMMM? Video by Victor Banuelos

Friday, June 13, 2008

52nd Annual North American Newspaper Conference

I had the privilege of attending the 52nd Annual NANC this past week in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is an annual joint conference with delegates from both the GCC and Teamster's Newspaper, Magazine and Electronic Media. Keith Denson and I were honored to attend the 51st NANC last year in Florida and we both admit it was a very educational and eye opening experience.

During the conference Union Delegates from newspapers across the country meet to discuss the state of the newspapers they work for and the activities their Locals are involved in for their members.

Numerous workshops are held to focus on specific areas of union business. I was fortunate to be appointed to the organizing committee in which we discussed the many obstacles we face attempting to win representation and how to overcome those hurdles. Delegates from newspapers owned by Dean Singleton, Gannett, Rupert Murdoch and our very own Sam Zell participated in a very spirited discussion and I was astonished to specifically learn from each delegate that the assault on employees by their owners is more prevalent than ever imagined before.

The Employee Free Choice Act which failed to pass legislation in its maiden attempt due to an employer friendly republican senate would have allowed employees to join a union without having a secret ballot election. Employers have exploited the current election process and utilizes every anti-union, anti-employee tactic at their disposal. The EFCA would allow employees to join by simply signing a membership card. Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator, Barak Obama supports the EFCA and organized labor. Senator Obama has spoken with Teamster General President Jim Hoffa assuring him that he will be a Pro Labor President. The Teamsters support Barak Obama for President and I think we should all vote for him in November.

I was also invited by our GCC/IBT Organizer Marty Keegan to sit in on the newspaper committee with several delegates from Zell owned newspapers as well as the others I mentioned earlier. We all share the same concerns regarding the sale to our newspapers to Sam Zell and the decisions being made that affect all of our futures. The Teamsters have fought the sale of Tribune to Sam Zell from day one understanding that an ESOP without employee representation is nothing more than deceitful. Declining ad revenue, declining circulation and staffing reductions seemed to be the major subjects discussed in this committee.

There was good news regarding the GCC and an increase of 3% in membership after years of membership declines due to plant closures and consolidations. Unions across the nation are winning elections by employees seeking representation to protect their interests in their workplace. All L.A. Times employees need to consider organizing in order to have a voice considering the latest announcement to further reduce staffing at our newspaper. I'll admit, Sam said a lot of things that lead many of us to believe that he was going to do good by all of us and the paper by building it, instead he is dismantling it faster than any of us ever imagined.

I also met with our President George Tedeschi, Teamster Organizer Manny Valenzuela, GCC/IBT Organizer Marty Keegan, International Representatives Sonny Shannon and Mike Huggins to discuss our negotiations and created a plan to insure that we are given every opportunity to negotiate a fair Collective Bargaining Agreement. Those of you who attended our chapel meeting in Monrovia were made aware of options we and the Teamsters hope to utilize in an effort to raise awareness and support for our pressrooms from the community. These meetings at the conference set the groundwork for building our support base around the country and in the local public sector which is valuable in motivating the company to bargain in good faith.

I would like to thank GCC/IBT President George Tedeschi, Secretary Treasurer Bob Lacey, NANC President/Chairman Joseph Inemer, Director Joe Molinero and especially all of my brothers and sisters in the L.A. Times pressrooms for allowing me the opportunity to represent our shops at the conference, and with great humbleness, allowing me to address the body of conference delegates and deliver a report on our negotiations.

To all the brothers and sisters at the conference, thanks for supporting our shops and negotiations and especially for the wholehearted brotherhood that each and every one of you lives by, I am always inspired by all of you and your sincerity, it is contagious and I hope it spreads to our pressrooms. It was a pleasure to spend time with Lou Nicosia and Mike Laspina from Local 406, Hello to all from both of them. Thanks to President Dennis Grabhorn and everyone at Newsday for your support. Good Luck with your impending change of ownership, I can only hope that we suffer the same fate and some one who gives a damn about this city and it's newspaper gets the chance to buy us before there's nothing left. (Are you listening Geffen?) It was also a pleasure to spend time with, and to learn from the brothers and sisters I had the privilege of meeting at last years conference, and the new ones I met this year.
Negotiations will resume on Monday, June 16Th.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Its time to put up, or shut up

It sure is easy to sit on the sidelines and judge those on the battle field .I think it’s rather odd that so many have so much to say for somebody else. If the news paper would actually print stinging commentary ‘s .We still might have a worthy product .I know some employee’s are afraid of what they don’t really understand .I sit at the table, talking to people that represent the company and it scares the hell out of me .We the negotiation committee are talked down to like we are less than .We are told what we have seen isn’t true and most of all lied to when we know the truth .Now apparently we make too much with too many .To listen to the companies team we would resort back to a (sweat shop).It is time to hear from the majority .Brothers and Sisters speak up now or forever hold your peace .This country was not formed with those who watch and comment from the sidelines but from those who actively get involved in their lives.

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