Vacation over and I'm another year older, I won't bore you with what I did. Calls from L.A. brothers about a change in our practices at the end of the shift came to me last week involving a new practice in L.A.'s. pressroom. Leads now have to be walked in after washing blankets to deter washing out the webs. Does management actually give a crap, when we, not them, have to pick them up. This is another way for supervision to police our work and will give management another way to pit us against one another. How will the individuals that wash out webs be viewed by the rest of the crew when the leads have to be put back in before going home? Now add a couple of bars.
It's obvious a complaint was lodged with the office that previous shifts are washing out webs. This is part of the job and happens on every shift and no one should feel compelled to complain when it happens to them. Blankets can be washed without washing them out, if they are done right, but how many of us actually washes the blankets right knowing that we go home as soon as we're done? It is part of our job and we should be washing them thoroughly for quality purposes, but does not justify the change without collective bargaining.
The appropriate, and only solution would be to go back to washing before the run. This would ensure that washing will be done properly and give supervision the opportunity to inspect the blankets if they chose to. If the blankets need further cleaning that can be addressed while the employee assigned to that particular unit is still there. If a lead is washed out, you pick up your own leads, not leads washed out by the previous crew because they were anxious to bolt out of there as quickly as possible. Washing before the run as we used to do has been suggested many times to management and is considered by Russ as only a way to get a bigger bust-out. This was the standard prior to Walker changing the washing process back in 2003 and should be reversed at this time because it hasn't seemed to slow anyone down and it will guarantee clean blankets everyday, every run. We have proposed this in our overall contract proposal and will pursue this change further today.
We will have more information pertaining to the company's written response to our request for information regarding the recent raises given to non-union production employees as soon as the committee meets with our representative Sonny Shannon today. The written response was being reviewed by our attorney in Washington and President Tedeschi. We on the committee are just as anxious as are all of you to learn what our options are in this matter.
I personally hope that the company comes to the table today with a willingness to salvage the progress we felt we had made right up until the closing hour of our last negotiations. As I stated in a previous post, we had expressed a willingness to show some flexibility and it was not fully reciprocated in their latest proposal regarding seniority. Flexibility has been their number one request, yet they have shown none. We are expected to respond to their latest package proposal and will pick up where we left off.
News from this round of negotiations will be posted after we conclude on Wednesday.
Is the new Publisher a Union Guy?