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.