Merry Christmas to the Men and Women of GCC/IBT Local 140-N and your families, wishing that your holidays are safe and memorable.
Christmas is a time of giving and when one of our own was in need, many of you dug deep and gave without hesitation. I am never amazed to witness the generosity displayed by the men and women in our shops when finding out that a fellow pressperson is need.
Between the L.A. and O.C. shops, $645.00 was raised in two days for our brother and his family. Our brother expressed his most sincere appreciation and gratitude when given this Christmas blessing. I was literally choked up, along with several other brothers when placing your generous Christmas gift in his hand. This made Christmas extra special for me and I will always remember this occassion that was made possible by all of you, thank you!
You will all be blessed 10 fold for your compassion and Christmas Spirit. I am very proud to be a member of this brotherhood and honor all of you for caring about one another and by showing it in ways that are beyond compare.
Special thanks to James Abel, Maria Ramirez, Linard Williams, Chuck Reney, Paula Henley, David Martinez, Randy Lind, David Rascon, Charles Laird, Keith Denson, Ye Lung Fu, Ed Padgett, Darren Paugh, Richard Ontiveros and everyone else that contributed during these difficult times.
Anyone still wishing to contribute can do so until December 31st. Keith Denson and Chuck Reney will gladly accept your offering and forward your gift. Thank you in advance.
(We lost track of everyone that contributed because the cash came pouring in on the 24th and we wanted to deliver your gift on Christmas Eve. I apologize for not being able to post the names of all the contributors and give them the proper recognition that they deserve.)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Elected 2009's National Scrooge of the Year
The Chamber's narrow, radical agenda advocating for anti-worker, profit-focused solutions to the broken health care, labor, and environmental systems garnered them the most votes for the national Jobs with Justice "Scrooge of the Year" award.
Thousands of votes were cast in the Jobs with Justice annual contest to determine which greedy, cold-hearted organization or person deserves the title "Scrooge of the Year." Voters chose the Chamber of Commerce as their winner this year as it's became increasingly clear that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has developed into a front group for a few narrow interests, not a membership association that represents the voice of mainstream American businesses. The Chamber has spent millions of dollars lobbying against legislation that would benefit workers and families like the Employee Free Choice Act, health insurance reform, paid sick days, and environmental regulations. Their extreme positions have led some companies and local chapters of the Chamber to disaffiliate from the national group.
This year's Scrooge contest pitted the Chamber of Commerce against Bank of America, nominated for their role in the sub-prime lending crisis and failure to extend credit to small businesses, Hyatt Hotels for their Scrooge-like firing of 100 housekeepers in Boston and other anti-worker actions, Publix Supermarkets for their resisting the call to be part of the solution to human rights violations in Florida fields by continuing to buy tomatoes from growers prosecuted for modern-day slavery, and student loan lenders Sallie Mae and Citibank for their expensive, variable rate loans for students. An impressive write-in campaign was also waged for United Airlines, for their slashing of workers' wages and pensions while continuing to award lavish bonuses to top executives.
"There was plenty of competition for the award this year," said Jobs with Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta, "but the similarities between Scrooge and the Chamber of Commerce were hard to beat. The ghost of years past would show that the policies they've promoted including deregulation and maximizing profits at the expense of workers are directly connected to the destruction of America's middle class."
Throughout the country, many people remain unemployed and more are working harder and longer than ever before to make ends meet, as highlighted in our recently released report examining the impact of the economic crisis on working people. Over the holidays and in the coming weeks, Jobs with Justice will begin a campaign to engage working people in the fight for the creation of a national jobs program.
"We fully expect the Chamber of Commerce to come out in opposition to our demand for good paying and family sustaining jobs," said Gupta, "but we will not cede this moment nor shy away from this fight. The ghost of future years will show that in this time of crisis, it was our efforts that helped put people back to work."
I was in contact with the Attorney representing the editorial employees early in this suit to seek inclusion of our shop employees because that was our pension money as well. The Attorney stated that a judge would determine who would be included in this suit, which legally should be a "Class Action" representing everyone employed at the time, including retirees drawing benefits from the pension. I will contact the Attorney's office once again to insure that we are included in any class action suit related to this case.
It seems The Blogging Pressman, AKA, Ed Padgett, has a lot of people wondering what is really going to happen at the Orange County Facility in the quickly approaching future. It has been rumored that the O.C. plant would close for quite some time now, to which management always denies any plans to do so at the time, when asked.
Anyone still having in their possession, the DVD management mailed to our homes during our organizing campaign, can view former Publisher David Hiller attempting to reassure employees that O.C. was to remain in operation. Was this statement the truth or an attempt to influence pressroom union voters? I seem to remember former SVP of Operations, Mark Kurtich making the same comment to Northridge employees prior to the closing of their facility. Arrive at your own conclusion.
I can tell you based on personal conversations Exec. Vice President Keith Denson and I have had with Newton, Walker and Bugarin, that they claim to have no knowledge of any new products coming to Orange County. I specifically asked about the Orange County Register and was told by Russ, "that door is closed". Russ also stated that the owners of the O.C. Register would never have their paper printed by "UNION" workers! I proceeded to inquire about possibly printing The San Diego Union Tribune, and his response was, " I can't talk about that"
Any plans that the company may be preparing to implement will not be divulged to the workforce and we should not expect management to consider our interests in any current plans they may be considering at this time as history has proven time and time again.
Management is continually looking for ways to increase savings and profits and they ultimately result in job losses, so if O.C does indeed close, it is quite likely that jobs will be slated for cuts in the closure plans. Whatever management plans are, if their actions violate our members rights under the Law and/or our Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Union will defend those rights.
According to our election certification from the N.L.R.B. any work printed in the L.A. and O.C. facilities fall under our jurisdiction, as we represent those employed by the L.A. Times at these facilities. Any arrangements to sell the O.C. Facility and enter into agreements with another entity to print products currently being printed by L.A. Times Presspersons, (as well as products that mgt. may currently be in negotiations to print at these locations), and not have our members print these products, would be done intentionally to undermine the contract we have with the company.
We must always be prepared and diligent when it comes to defending our rights under the contract and always remember that management is not interested in how their decisions affect you or your families, so if there is any truth to these rumors, I know what I'm going to do, what are you going to do? Get involved or accept managements decisions because they've always known what is best for you and your family........right?
Friday, December 11, 2009 Pfaffinger Foundation for LA Times Employees
This just in from the CEO of the Pfaffinger Foundation Stephen C. Meier:
Dear Ed Padgett,
I’m writing you in the hopes that you can get some of the following information about Pfaffinger Foundation on the Pressmen’s website.The Pfaffinger Foundation was established in part to help Times employees, former employees, and their families. While we were once well known by just about everyone at The Times, we are concerned that many current and former Times employees no longer think of Pfaffinger when they experience financial difficulties. In 2008, we assisted 236 Los Angeles Times employees, former employees and retirees. Our numbers are down in 2009, which is troubling to us.
Among the ways Pfaffinger is assisting employees and former employees:1. Paying some or all of COBRA payments if the individual is unable to do so.2. Making a limited number of rent or mortgage payments while the family restructures its finances.3. Arranging for financial counseling at no cost.4. Assisting with medical bills not covered by insurance (and sometimes we are able to negotiate a reduction with the provider as well). We can also assist with a variety of other bills (e.g. utilities).
The way to access Pfaffinger services is to call us at (213) 680-7460. We do not have a website because our first step with an inquiry is to determine eligibility, and we do this on a case-by-case basis in conversation with the applicant. We are also happy to mail out a brochure.Every applicant works with a professional case manager and is guided through the application process. Client information is totally confidential. Of course, approval is not automatic and we are not a “benefit.” In fact, we are totally independent of The Times and Tribune.
I hope this information is of interest to you and I would like to discuss with you how it might be shared with your members.Please feel free to e-mail me or call at (213) 680-7467.
Thanks,Steve MeierStephen C. MeierChairman and CEOPfaffinger Foundation316 W. 2nd St., Suite PH-C Los Angeles, CA 90012Tel: (213) 680-7467Fax: (213) 680-7474
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 By Ann Belser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
On the first day of the newspaper strike against The Pittsburgh Press in 1992, the words of John T. "Sonny" Shannon Jr. proved prophetic. "We'll watch this paper die," he shouted to the crowd of strikers outside of the newspaper office Downtown.
Mr. Shannon, who graduated high school and followed his father and uncles into the press room at The Pittsburgh Press in 1968, was president of the pressmen's local when the drivers at the paper initiated the strike. In that role, he found himself leading the charge that ultimately drove the The E.W. Scripps Co., the corporate owner of The Pittsburgh Press, out of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Shannon died Monday afternoon in his home in Brighton Heights from throat cancer. He was 59.
He was known as a tough negotiator. During the Press strike of 1992, he swore the unions would not fold, and they didn't. "The company underestimated us," said Mr. Shannon's brother, Patrick Shannon of Ross, who was the business agent for the pressman's union at the time.
Jack Shea, the executive director of the Allegheny County Labor Council, said Mr. Shannon cared deeply not just about the members of his union, but about everyone involved in a labor battle.
After months of failed negotiations with Scripps, Mr. Shea noted that the Block family -- the owners of Block Communications Inc., which bought The Press and folded it into the Post-Gazette -- was able to sit down and negotiate a contract with all of the unions in 30 days.
John Robinson Block, the publisher of the Post-Gazette, told a story of those negotiations, which were being conducted in a local hotel. The company's negotiators were working just about around the clock going from meetings with one union to the next. At one point, Mr. Shannon and the team from the pressmen's union were told they would have to wait for a bit after their scheduled time because negotiations were wrapping up with another group.Mr. Shannon and his team waited in the hotel bar and then had to reschedule those negotiations themselves."He was an effective leader of the pressmen's union and diligently advocated their interests," Mr. Block said.
After newspaper strike ended in January 1993, Mr. Shannon's talents were recognized by the international union, the Graphics Communications Conference/International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which hired him as a negotiator. Though the union is based out of Washington D.C., Mr. Shannon still lived in Pittsburgh.In his new role, he sat across the table from the management of newspapers across the country.
His brother, Patrick Shannon, said there was never another strike like the Press strike because, in that case, it was a matter of workers fighting corporate greed. In recent years, it was Mr. Shannon's duty to tell union members that their companies were losing money. Despite having been diagnosed with cancer last year, Mr. Shannon was able to work up until just a couple of months ago, representing workers at bargaining tables.
In addition to his brother, he is survived by his wife, Loren Renee; one son, Jack of Brighton Heights; a daughter, Sonny Leigh of Brighton Heights; his brother, Michael of Mars; two sisters, Charlotte of Hampton and Jacquelyn Boggs of Schenley; two grandsons and two granddaughters.
Visitation will be 2 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at T.B. Devlin Funeral Home, 806 Perry Highway, Ross. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 Friday at St. Peter Church, 720 Arch St., North Side. Burial will be in North Side Catholic Cemetery in Ross.
Memorial contributions can be made to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Medical and Health Sciences Foundation, 200 Lothrop St., Suite 8084, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
It is with immense sadness to announce that GCC/IBT International Representative John "Sonny" Shannon passed away yesterday evening. Brother Shannon was diagnosed with and treated for throat cancer prior to joining our contract negotiations back in November 2007.
Once assigned to our negotiations, Sonny, along with the negotiating committee worked in earnest to negotiate a first contract that would provide a foundation to build upon.
In the face of numerous obstacles such as Tribune's internal strife, mgts. negotiation tactics, the decline of the industry,the economy, and Tribune filing Bankruptcy, I believe Sonny did just that and will honor his memory for his contribution.
Sonny was cut from the same cloth as those of you that stand up for what you believe in, because he himself was a pressman.
Sonny is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.
Local 140-N and their families! ************************** Be not thankful for the things that can be attained, but rather be thankful for the things that are bestowed unto you in the spirit of Love, Kindness and Happiness! Ronnie Pineda
Members of Local 140-N in attendance at our general meeting earlier this month voted unanimously to provide a helping hand during the holidays to our Brothers and Sisters that were seperated from the company in April.
I was very moved when Brother Linard Williams and Brother Mike Brierley made a motion to extend a Holiday gift of $50.00 to each family of the recently laid-off members of Local 140-N. The motion was immediately seconded and all were in favor, with none opposed. I am very proud of all of you for your compassion and true understanding of what it means to take care of one another!
I challenge management to do the same..................
If you’re one of the 57 million workers in the U.S. without paid sick days, chances are the answer is “yes”. Thirty-nine percent of us have a difficult choice to make when we’re sick: go to work and risk infecting our co-workers (and risk making our illness worse), or stay home and put our finances and our jobs in jeopardy.
Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Rosa DeLauro are leading the charge to pass the Healthy Families Act first introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy last spring. The Healthy Families Act would provide 7 paid sick days to all workers at companies with at least 15 employees, and would prevent employers from retaliating against workers who get sick. The bill has 113 sponsors in the House and 21 sponsors in the Senate, and has been endorsed by the Obama administration. Passing this bill is an important step in fighting the spread of seasonal and H1N1 flu. Three quarters of workers without paid sick days work in food and service industries where they come into contact with both co-workers and the public.
The Healthy Families Act is an alternative to the Emergency Influenza Containment Act introduced by Rep. George Miller, which would guarantee five paid sick days to workers at businesses with at least 15 employees. Unfortunately, this bill only applies if management tells a worker to go home, and the bill would sunset after two years. Either bill is a step forward, but the Healthy Families Act is stronger.
This Monday November 16th at 4:00 p.m. the pressmen from the Los Angeles Times will gather at Weiland Brewery, and everyone from the Los Angeles Times is welcome to attend. 400 E 1st St Los Angeles, CA 90012 213-680-2881
The members in attendance on Sunday's Interlocal Pension meeting voted almost unanimously, in favor of participating in the GCC/IBT Interlocal Pension Fund. This is one of the main reasons for having wanted to form a union in our shops in the first place.
The fact that the company sponsored retirement plans were quickly becoming inferior to what we were once provided, the need for an alternative retirement investment was imperative in order to insure ample financial resources when we need it most.
Executive Vice President, Keith Denson will chair the committee on establishing the various segments and the contribution amounts that will apply to each segment.The committee members include Linard Williams, Mike Brierley, Dan Beruman and Richard Olmeda.
The committe members will be able to assist Keith in answering questions and instructing members on how to participate.
I will be in O.C. tomorrow morning at the Round Table Pizza on Warner and Euclid in Fountain Valley at 11:00am. This is an informal meeting I was asked to hold in order to discuss current issues and their effects in the shops. All bargaining unit employees are welcome to attend. There will be a General Meeting for members of the Local following the October 18th InterLocal Pension Meeting at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Commerce.
Yesterday Keith and I met with Russ and Leticia to discuss the transfer of 27 press persons from O.C. to L.A. on October 19th. The ultimate decision belonged to management and we agreed to an unprecedented decision to allow bargaining unit employees to bid on shifts in either shop based on seniority.
This decision maintains compliance with the contract, which I was told by many of you in both L.A. and O.C. to preserve seniority and expressed no desire to amend the contract.
Transfers were handled in various ways in the past and this is the first time that we have an opportunity to bid shifts based on seniority in either shop. This affirms that we are ONE body, ONE union regardless of which facility one chooses to work in.
A few details:
Posted schedules are to run concurrent through 2010.
Orange County bargaining unit employees may voluntarily transfer to L.A. Volunteers must inform management by October 9, 2009 by noon. After that time, management will institute mandatory transfers of the balance needed from those in O.C. with the least seniority.
Anyone wishing to voluntarily transfer to O.C. from L.A. may request to do so also and must meet the October 9 deadline as well. Seniority will determine whether it will be possible to transfer to O.C. based on how many volunteers from O.C. request to come to L.A.
There are four (4) management assigned shifts in L.A. that print commercial products such as the Wall St. Journal, Barron's and The Post. Anyone one on these crews currently may bid on any available shift schedule when it is their time to pick.
Vacations scheduled for the remainder of the year will be honored and vacation picks for 2010 will be bid later in the year. If new schedules conflict with 2009 vacation picks, you may be asked to modify your vacation pick. If vacation arrangements have been made, IE. Airline and hotel reservations, management has indicated that they will accommodate and honor established vacation times.
Management has posted schedules and all the details of the bid process, so read the information carefully and if you have any questions, check with your representatives.
In Solidarity, Ronnie Pineda President, GCC/IBT Local 140-N
Hello Brothers and sisters. Exec Vice President, Keith Denson and myself met with Russ and Leticia to discuss the pending transfer of approximately 27 presspersons from O.C. to L.A.
We did not finalize the terms of the effects and plan to meet again on Thursday afternoon. As I said before, we will disclose the details once they are confirmed. Be patient and don't believe the rumors.
One certainty is that this staff movement will not result in a reduction of the workforce and no bargaining unit employees are in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
GCC/IBT Trainers Rob Thiesen and Gene Binda will be here this coming Saturday so plan to attend. Their information will help make the shops a safer and healthier place to work. BE THERE! GET INVOLVED! This is your Union!Training Flyer Revised
GCC/IBT Interlocal Pension Fund Chairman, John Agenbroad is returning to Los Angeles on Sunday October 18, 2009 to once again meet with our members to discuss and vote on participation in the GCC/IBT InterLocal Pension Fund.
The meeting and vote will take place at the Crowne Plaza/Commerce Casino at 11:00 AM.
This is a very important part of everyones retirement future and no one should miss this meeting! Tribune no longer provides a viable retirement vehicle for it's employees. Will you have enough retirement money?
THERE IS NO OTHER PENSION LIKE THIS IN THE COUNTRY!
This pension is the ONLY 501 C18 in the country. It was founded in 1950 and the fund is overseen by union trustees , NO company trustees. There is in fact absolutely no involvement by the company in any way with regards to the fund, its investments or the administration of the fund.
The Fund's assets were reported in 2007 of the 57th Annual Report of The Trustees to be approximately 1.8 Billion dollars.John stated the current assets are reported to be 1.4 billion dollars.The administration fees are a mere 4% which is unbelievable for a fund with the assets that are in the ILPF.
A meeting has been scheduled on October 8, 2009 at 10:00 am to discuss the company's plans to restructure the Orange County Facility. That was the earliest we could agree to in order to have our International Representative and Attorney present at the meeting.
As usual, the rumors and speculation are in full swing and I have heard plenty of doomsday scenarios, including supervisors predictions. Apparently Mgt. is intentionally leaving supervision out of the loop because they have come up with some of the wildest scenarios I've heard so far.
I must say, none of the scenarios have led to the assumption that we have nothing to fear. As always, we can only wonder how this restructuring is going to impact our shops. It's been almost a decade since anything good has been bestowed upon the employees of the L.A. Times from the higher ups in this greed driven Tribune Corporation.
I wish to meet with everyone on Friday October 9, 2009 in O.C at 11:00am at Round Table Pizza in Fountain Valley (Euclid and Warner) to disclose the findings of our meeting with the company. This meeting is open to ALL Bargaining Unit Employees.
Questions are coming in by the dozens, unfortunately answers won’t be available until we meet with management and ask the same questions that are being presented to our Local and it’s Officers.
As you know, management notified us of their potential restructuring of the Orange County Facility and the possible transfer of approximately 30 to 40 presspersons from O.C. to L.A. That is all we know at this time. I have been in contact with our Attorneys in Washington since an article posted on Recording Secretary Ed Padgett’s Blog eluded to the O.C. Register moving it’s operation into the L.A. Times Costa Mesa Plant.
We have accepted the company’s offer to meet and have been provided dates by management. I have forwarded the dates to our local Attorney to ensure his attendance and legal assistance during our meeting with management.
There is a lot of speculation at this point and some of your assumptions could possibly be correct, but we must wait until we can obtain answers directly from management. As I stated on saveourtrade.com, I asked management if there was any truth to the article to which H.R. and the L.A. pressroom Superintendent denied any knowledge of such an agreement with the Register.
I’m not saying any of this has anything to do with the Register, but history has proven that rumors definitely come to pass, especially in the production departments, and this rumor may end no differently. History has also proven that when management makes decisions, they’re not usually in our best interest and always come at our expense. That is why I have been preaching unity and solidarity for almost a decade now.
As soon as we schedule the meeting with management and have the opportunity ask your questions, the Local will post answers on the Blog, shop bulletin boards, and a general meeting will be immediately scheduled to meet with all bargaining unit employees in order to answers your question directly.
Again, I want to remind everyone that our Local is only as strong as the members and if this situation has a negative effect on our bargaining unit, it will take everyone to make a stand. Unity and Solidarity is our greatest strength! Get involved!
Our Local was notified on Wednesday afternoon (via e-mail) that the company intends to implement restructuring changes to the Orange County Facility Operation. The SVP of Operations has made an offer to meet for the purposes of discussing their restructuring plan and it's effect on Orange County and Los Angeles Bargaining Unit Employees.
What exactly is to be done is unknown at this time, we will ask management all the pertinent questions necessary to answer all of the employees questions that will certainly arise from this announcement.
The only information we do have at this time is that the restructuring of O.C. will result in the mandatory transfer of approximately 30 to 40 presspersons from O.C. to L.A. on or about October 17th.
This "plan" may have something to do with the O.C. Register and anything said at this point in time is speculation, unless mgt. honestly discloses that information prior to meeting with the Union. I personally asked the H.R. Representative and the L.A. pressroom Superintendent last week about the possibility of the Register moving into our O.C. shop, to which both denied any knowledge of such an arrangement.
Further details will be provided when they are obtained from management during the offered meeting we intend to accept.
This e-mail is intended for Ronnie Pineda and all members of Local 140.
Jesse, Maria and I would like to Thank You again for such a grand outpouring of hospitality that was given to us by the members of Teamsters Local 140. The BBQ was such a success that we stayed to the end enjoying conversation with all . The Hamburgers were great and the two horse piñatas were a real tribute to the Teamsters ( Thunder and Lightning ) I'm not sure I remembered their names correctly but I'm sure your granddaughter does. It was nice to be treated like family and to spend time with all your families and friends. The young women that won the 50/50 raffle were so cute, smart and had a lot of good conversation . I also enjoyed looking at pictures I have seen at latimespressmen 20yearclub also. We had a Ball-------------------------THANK YOU TEAMSTERS
SEIU IN SOLIDARITY Donna Hernandez Jesse Aranda Maria Ybarra
Many of you have seen the notice generated by the same National Right to Work Foundation that represents Lee Carey. This publication is bias and erroneous in it's entirety for implying that the "Officers", (dramatically referred to by the NRTW's Stephan Gleason as "Union Bosses") are attempting to force Lee Carey and others to join our union and force them to pay dues.
The information the NRTW people present is FALSE for the fact that our contract does not make membership in the union a "condition of employment" to work in our shops, nor can we request termination of a bargaining unit employee for refusing to join the union, or refusing to pay dues.
Also, anyone not interested in joining the union is given an opportunity to apply for "Agency Fee Payer" status with the International and under the law, would only be required to pay dues germane to collective bargaining and representation, that amount was determined to be $48.04 or 80.06% based on members dues of $60.00
We have not made "threats" as Lee and the NRTW people accuse our local of doing, our Secretary Treasurer mailed what we consider a standard notice of arrears similar to those sent by many institutions that is owed monies. None of the notices sent to bargaining unit employees seeking to collect dues made any reference to joining the union.
NLRB Regional Director Smalls understood the union security language in our contract and "instantly dismissed", not "bizarrely" dismissed Lee's petition for a de-authorization election based on the facts I stated. The officers of Local 140-N expect the board in Washington to reach the same conclusion.The NRTW people are tooting their own horn in this notice and is making this appear as if this story was reported by an uninterested party all the while attempting to smear the union for taking action against "free riders" that refuse to pay dues.
This decision could take some time, so we need to realistically look at the ramifications of what advantages the company would gain if Lee's attempt to de-authorize the union security language in the contract is successful and how that would effect the local's ability to take action against the company should it violate the contract in the future. Instead of trying to vilify the Union for all that is wrong currently, one needs only look where the decisions come from and the ones making those decisions.
As I said a million times before "a union is only as strong as it's members" and in order to have any chance in resolving the shortcomings of the contract, we must focus on unity.In short we must focus on what we need to accomplish in order to convince management to accept our proposals when we return to the table in April 2011, because if we don't, and the union is removed as representatives, pressroom employees must be willing to put their faith, trust and financial future back in the hands of the same people who refused to continue to pay shift differential and equal severance while asking the bankruptcy court for tens of millions of dollars to deposit into their accounts in order to empty the cookie Jar before the creditors slam it shut and Zell runs off with it!
Senior mgt. and middle mgt. have perfected the art of taking care of themselves, when will we learn to conduct ourselves in the same beneficial manner? As Keith once said, "when did we stop becoming our brothers keeper?"Don't support this effort by Lee and others that are ignorant to the concept of a brotherhood allowing them to cripple our local financially, He has his interests in mind only and needs others to help him achieve his objective in avoiding payment of dues. Lee could care less if you all paid dues as long as he doesn't have to. That takes cajones to ask the same people he steals money from in the form of overtime to rally behind his cause, but they ignorantly do. When Lee has gotten what he wants from them, he will resume screwing them over as history has proven.
Get involved and become a willing member in order to attend local meetings where your concerns can be address and resolved, as opposed to expressing anger towards the union. As a member you can vote on the direction of this local and the decisions made by it's officers. Lastly, as a member you can run for office if you feel you possess the skills and abilities to lead this local in a direction the members agree with. I recommend you don't get angry, but rather, get involved! If you must express your anger, direct it to those that are truly responsible........and ask yourself, have I done all that I could to make this union succeed? Am I willing and capable of doing more?
If you've done nothing but resist the union and complain every step of the way, never attending meetings, never asking questions, unwilling to seek and obtain the union provided information, then you've done absolutely nothing on your own behalf, and in my opinion, have no right to be angry at the Union, it's Officers or the company for that matter.
An additional four presspersons received recall notices from management a few day ago. One individual that was required to respond by August 3rd from the first group of six chose to relinquish his recall. This will total nine pressroom employees tenatively scheduled to return on August 24, 2009.
This latest group has until August 14, 2009 to contact Leticia in Human resources to inform management of their decision. Once an individual reliquishes their recall rights, it is final and said individual will not be considered for any future recall regardless of the nine month recall per our contract.
Wake up, this is insane......"The payouts will be between $21.5 million to $66.7 million, with 9 of the top 10 executives dividing $3.1 million among themselves".
What the F**k is "Incentivizing"? Is that even a word? Did Tribune hire Don King and Mike Tyson to write their memos? I understand the corporate drive to dumb down America but give us a break!
Screw their incentives,the average Joe's and Jane's incentive is to keep their F****N jobs!
Maybe if this company was flourishing and making a profit consisting of new money, rather than by dumping their "partners" bodies by the road to save the overhead they were viewed as, the notion of bonuses would probably go un-noticed. But that is definately not the case here.
If Tribune was true to a "performance based" bonus system, the recipients would receive absolutely nothing because that is what has been done to turn this once great newspaper around, absoulutely nothing!
This kind of news should really piss off anyone that continues to work for Tribune as well as those that have become lay-off victims of Zell's "alledged" Partnership.
These bonuses should be viewed as ROBBERY! CUT,CUT,CUT, POCKET THE SAVINGS! It's no wonder why this company is in F****N bankruptcy. All these corporations tanking, filing for bankruptcy, laying off workers and then they have the f****n gall, with permission from the courts,to line their pockets with bonuses that were"alledgedly" earned prior to the bankruptcy. How the hell did they earn bonuses when the company continues to plummet, taking quality reporters and long time employees along with it?
If they did indeed earn these bonuses, explain how they earned the money they are due to receive. Has their contribution at least yielded profits exceeding the amount that will be going into their accounts? I doubt it!When the hell will all of the pompus, greedy, incompetents be forced to share in the misery they create instead of placing it on the backs of the hard working employees of the Los Angeles Times?
What happened to the "Partnership" you spoke of so many times Sam? I guess we're only partners when you're being sued! How could we not be when Tribune pays your legal expenses!
Sam, how's about sending some of that bankruptcy bonus dough down stream to the people who actually do the work. Did the ESOP Board Of Trustees ask the Employees if this was O.K.? What, they didn't?
I'm gonna go puke now, this makes me F****N SICK!
Employee B"owned" Since 2oo8.Zell Failing Properties, All Rights Reserved (for Mgt only.)
There have been murmurings lately that there would be several of our brothers returning to work. Well, this week 6 people with the highest seniority of the 63 recently departed were notified by the company that their services are once again needed.
This was welcome news to those involved that I have spoken with.Our Local was officially informed by management last week that there would be a need to recall 6 pressmen at this time. the recall of the 6 is unprecedented considering no one has ever come back after being let go? This recall is a direct result of, and in compliance with the recall language of our contract. What would the company have been able to do had we not negotiated recall? Our contract guarantees recall for nine (9) months from the last day of employment. The current recall period for the remaining 57 expires in January 2010.
I am personally very happy for the 6 brothers that are being asked to return of which four have already responded to the company. The other two have until August 3,2009 to respond or the company has the right to go to the next name on the seniority list. That is why we have an "APB" out for Mike Norman, he is the only person we have yet to reach. Messages have been left and we were informed he is on vacation, so we will continue to attempt to notify Mike until we reach him.
The six returning pressmen are tentatively scheduled to return on August 24,2009. I hope to learn where these 6 brothers will be assigned and whether this will result in any transfers between facilities soon.We welcome the opportunity to print any product the company can negotiate to print and hope to see the return of many more, if not all of our brothers and sisters.
It's unfortunate to lose a famous celebrity that you grew up with, but to lose two in a day is unusual. Michael Jackson's death received almost all the news coverage yesterday and I felt that Farrah Fawcett's struggle with cancer was courageous, inspiring and also heartbreaking.
If you happened to watch the recent documentary detailing her cancer treatments both here and abroad, you would definitely question your own ability to survive. While watching her suffer, I could feel the pain.
Who will ever forget that hair and smile.
She was the worlds most famous Angel and now she is God's angel once again. May she Rest in Peace.
I have launched the GCC/IBT Local 140-N members blog at http://www.gccibtlocal140n.blogspot.com/ and will send invites to all members I have e-mail addresses for. If you would like an immediate invite or have not provided your e-mail address to the local, please do so in order to gain access to the new site.
You can send your request and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org by clicking on the link to launch your e-mail program.
Also, as a reminder, Los Angeles E-Board Member Mike Brierley created an e-mail account for our Local and members to ask questions or seek assistance from your Executive Board. The e-mail address is email@example.com We will quickly respond so don't hesitate to utilize this communication tool to get help and answers.
I requested Journeyman Cards from the International for all of our members and they have been ordered and are currently being created. I received Journeyman Certificates for all members from the International last week. Should any of our members decide to relocate and seek employment in a union shop, the card will give the cardholder priority in job placement for any available positions. I anticipate receiving the cards shortly and will deliver them as soon as they arrive. We will most likely mail them to your homes so be sure that the Local has your current mailing information.
We are wasting time and money everyday we fail to take action in relation to the Interlocal Pension Fund. A golden opportunity is being allowed to sit on the back burner and we are losing money by not making a decision on participation. Please review the April 22nd Post by clicking on the link and visit the ILPF website or call the ILPF to get immediate answers to your questions. I would like to invite ILPF Chairman John Agenbroad back out to meet with everyone who did not take the opportunity to meet him in April. This is probably the most important thing to do for your future considering there is no longer a viable retirement vehicle offered by the company. Time is money, will you have enough when you retire? If you are already interested in the Plan let us know by using the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail and let us know what percentage you would be interested in investing monthly. We are trying to determine an average percentage to arrive at an amount that would be comfortable for all participants to vote on. We first need to vote on participation in the Plan so hurry up and do your homework. Your in shop representatives have literature on the plan as well, all you have to do is ask.
NON-MEMBER MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT: It's never too late to apply for membership, just ask a shop steward or E-Board Member for an application. I have heard all of the complaints, which mostly come from the critics and suggest that you join and get involved. Only Members may attend meetings, vote and run for Office in our Local. Don't get mad, get involved.
NEW YORK When owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News asked guild members last fall to give up a $25-per-week raise, most were agreeable to the idea. Shelly Richards, a member of the Philadelphia Newspaper Guild executive board and an advertising customer services employee, says they all knew the company was in dire straits, with ad revenue and circulation plummeting.
The guild members voted to defer the raise, but they were mostly glad to do it, Richards says. A sense of shared pain for the rank and file pushed the point home. "If you look around the country, people are being asked to sacrifice for the greater good," she notes. "People felt they were doing it in that sense."But in March, a bombshell dropped. Word spread that company executives had received bonuses of between $150,000 and $300,000, in addition to pay raises. While the raises were eventually returned, the bonuses have not been given back. The fallout was predictably harsh among guild members.
"My reaction was sadness, disappointment and disgust," says guild leader Richards. "People were angered and upset. Based on what happened, we will be very careful to agreeing to anything we surrender." Now, she adds, "There is no sense of comfort with management."
The Philly brass aren't the only ones accused of being disingenuous. Journal Register Company, which has filed for bankruptcy protection, in April heard objections from Pennsylvania and Connecticut state officials to a plan to give its executives $1.7 million in bonuses. The Pennsylvania-based company also owns several Connecticut newspapers.In short, the mood among newspaper staffs is grim.
Already cut to the bone in many cases, newsrooms across the country are now seeing fewer layoffs and more requests to give up some compensation. In just the past few months, the number of newspapers and whole chains instituting unpaid furloughs, salary cuts, and freezes on retirement funds has skyrocketed. Gannett alone has already instituted two rounds of furloughs for this year, while Media General, Advance Publications, Lee Enterprises and various Media News Group outlets have also put them into effect. Belo and Morris Communications are cutting salaries or retirement matches.
I spoke with Russ yesterday inquiring as to when the Severance checks can be expected and Russ informed me that checks should be received within 21 days or less after submission of waiver and release forms. In the event that payment is not received within the 21 day time period, notify any union official and we will contact the company.
The Negotiated 2% Lump Sum payments will be on this weeks payroll. This is one of the benefits of our CBA especially when our peers at newspapers across the country are facing concessionary bargaining and more severe conditions. I certainly hope it comes at a time of opportunity and not a time of necessity. Either way, Enjoy.
The National Right to Work folks are being lied to by former Supervisor/ O.C. Operator, Lee Carey in the form of false accusations stating he is being threaten to join the union and pay full dues as covered in this potentially libelous article.
First of all Lee has no concept of what a brotherhood is and has time and time again shown that Lee only cares about Lee and will betray a fellow pressperson in a heartbeat if it puts another buck in his pocket. Lee would never be forced to join our union and I personally would not have a problem with him never joining our Local. With that said, Lee, like everyone else in the pressroom is required under the "Legal" contract to pay dues, to which the Local can pursue "Legally" in small claims court when dues are in arrears, as Lee's and many others are. They too have received the same notification requesting remittance of payment to bring their dues current. The collection of dues began months ago and to date there are some, like Lee, that have not made a single dues payment.
Here is a quote from Stefan Gleason of the NRTW which is rooted in Lee's blatant lies:
“It’s bad enough that employees can be forced to pay union dues just to keep a job, but these thuggish tactics are completely uncalled for,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. (End)
I encourage Stephan to read our contract and withdraw The ULP based on Lee's Lies.
Its not Stefans fault for believing Lee's Lies but Stefan should find out the facts about our contract and the facts about his deceptive client. Mr. Gleason's time would be better utilized by someone with a legitimate reason for his free assistance. So, Stefan, for your information, our Union Security Language does not make union membership or payment of dues a condition of employment and no one can be terminated for refusing to do either. I will excuse the "Thuggish" accusation because I realize as many others do, that the only thug in this whole song and dance is Lee himself. He has managed to maintain his favored status with management and still manipulates supervision that for some reason has never had the courage to stand up to his infantile tantrums, instead appease him at the financial expense of others in the pressroom. How many of you put your name in for overtime, wait for, and not get a call only to discover that some how Lee managed to work O.T. instead of you? Everyone in O.C. raise your hand.
Before Lee's friends at NRTW teach him another word like "mendacious" the question remains, why were no other former supervisors allowed to return to the floor after being in management for two or more years? Because they did not have an "Oral Agreement" as Lee puts it, with management. To this date no one but Lee and Kurtich know what that agreement was. How about elaborating on that Lee? Do you have any agreements with management now? Is that how you got an operator position after almost three years of not picking as an operator? What the hell is an "Operator assigned to the Training Dept" Lee feasted on overtime by having this title which he exclusively held and was not a bid position. Lee was allowed to pick his days off which were days that there was almost always overtime, because they had to call people who were off before the persons with the least amount of overtime.
Lee, you can't get your way for ever, I'm certain that when your friends at the national right to work discover your true character and the truth about your privileged working conditions, not to mention, YOUR LIES, they too will recognize you for the backstabber you are, and why we would never force you to join the union.
Lee, tell the truth, stop the mendacious lies, pay your dues and quit wasting everyones time. Might I suggest you use the 2% Lump Sum money you will be receiving at the end of the week to pay the balance owed and bring your dues current. I'm sure you won't need to be threatened or forced to accept the union negotiated "Lump Sum" money now will you? Didn't think so.
I just returned from the North American Newspaper Conference and was not surprised to here from the Union Delegates that represent employees at newspapers across the country deliver messages of dispair. There were reports of plant closures, wage and benefit concessions, furloughs and lay-offs to name a few.
I provided those that attended our meetings on Sunday May 15th with multiple articles highlighting examples I just described. I also attached the following letter to provide more information on the severance agreement and why the decision to withdraw our grievances and board charges was made. I decided to post the letter because I requested those members that attended share this information with everyone who still enjoys employment and some of the highest wages in the nation as a result of ratiying our contract. Read on.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, There appears to be no end in sight to the newspaper industry’s downward spiral, and in it’s wake are the families of men and women who have spent the better part of their lives serving their respective newspapers. We have not been insulated from this crisis and it should be considered foolish to think that we could have completely prevented it from affecting our shops.
With or without a Union there were going to be major changes in our pressrooms and there obviously have been. The question is what would those changes have been had we not organized? Our contract has assured that those with the highest seniority have the greatest protection in the event of layoffs. Remember, the company proposed layoffs by job performance and also by job classification. Management also proposed to introduce an 8 hour day, 40 hour work week at the current weekly wage rate, increasing the work week by 5 hours with no additional pay. There were many occasions in negotiations in which management pondered wage cuts, which we adamantly refused to even consider.
The Senior Vice President of Operations has on many occasions said that pressroom employees are overpaid and I have no doubt that had the contract not been ratified, his first move would have been to cut wages all across production. Let us not forget the rumor of reel tenders that would finally become a reality and eventually, part-timers would out number journey presspersons. Trust me, he is not, never has, and never will serve your interests.
Our decision to organize our shops can be viewed as both bad timing, and in my opinion, good timing. Let me explain, bad timing because the negotiating climate was hostile due to the economy, declining circulation, declining ad revenue, the terrible deal to sell Tribune to Sam Zell under the guise of a sham ESOP, and lastly, Sam’s ultimate decision to file bankruptcy. I still believe it was good timing because the agreements we reached remain binding.
There are still many of our peers that don’t realize what could have happened had we not ratified this contract and more importantly, what can happen if a de-authorization, or worse, a de-certification election were to be held and succeed. Had we not ratified this contract, with the bankruptcy filing, all the agreements we do have would be void and the company would have had the right to implement any changes they choose, including but not limited to those I described above.
I have heard many times, and agree, that a union is only as strong as its members, Vice President Keith Denson said it best when he asked “When did we stop being our brother’s keeper?” It is time once again to become your brother’s keeper and shed the “me” mentality because history has proven time and time again, United we Stand, Divided we Fall.
Those convictions are what led to the decision to accept a severance agreement that required us to withdraw our grievances and board charges. It was one of the most difficult and stressful decisions to make and anyone that disagrees with this decision is selfish at best. If the critics had their way 63 of your former colleagues would have no severance.
Selfishness is what drives the individuals that are promoting a de-authorization election. Let me begin by saying, these individuals are without a doubt working in concert with management simply because there is no possible way any of these people had a clue that this process existed. The petitioner has already been rewarded with an operator position and continues to steal overtime from those that signed his petition!
As members of this Local it is your responsibility to reveal his misdeeds and motives to discourage the signing of his petition. If an individual has already signed, you must convince them to ask to have it removed. Believe me, the potential for losses in amounts greater than the monthly dues will immediately follow should we fail to prevent this election and not have the financial resources to legally respond.
Management is fully aware of the people that sign, and don’t sign this petition and it only serves to show that they can exploit the language in the contract and use their management rights to break our local and remove any obligation to bargain.
Management has waged war on our local and ALL pressroom employees, not just those that support the union, and we have suffered numerous casualties because there has been reluctance to get involved and take a stand against a company that only takes care of their own (13 million in bonuses) at the expense of the now harder working men and women.
The following articles detail the state of the newspaper industry currently and should not be ignored because these are conditions we managed to hold at bay to some degree and will become inevitable unless we refocus and unify our Local.
Several E-board members indicated that they were informed by quite a few of the members that the meetings scheduled for Monday May 11 were inconvienient and un-attendable, and it was suggested that Sunday would be better.
It is important that we have all members attend so the rescheduled date and time are as follows:
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Round Table Pizza 11095 Warner Ave Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Secretary Treasurer, Linard Williams has asked that anyone who has not yet sent a letter requesting to be an "Agency Fee Payer" follow the instructions in the last paragraph of the second column. Linard has received requests directly and asks that they now be sent directly to the International Secretary Treasurer's office in Washington as instructed in the notice above.
Agency Fee payer status must be granted from the International and is not automatic upon submission of request. Until granted, dues are $60.00 per month.
The union and the company met yesterday to discuss severance for the recently laid off workers. The union accepted an enhanced version of the company’s last proposal offered in February.
Our decision to accept will undoubtedly draw fire from some people, but it was obviously the right thing to do based on the 63 workers who were laid off receiving nothing in the form of severance or consideration for years of service with the company. Therefore, the union and the company agreed to the following:
The 63 employees who were laid off will receive up to 12 weeks of severance pay with recall rights as outlined under the contract; the company did not agree to any benefit continuation.
In return the union agreed to withdraw all pending grievances and 4 of the 5 pending Unfair Labor Practice charges.
Again, we realize this will bring out some critics of the union, but we felt this was the right thing to do at this time, and to the critics of the union, you should consider this, did the company do the right thing by not agreeing to treat its union and non-union employees equally?
GCC/IBT Interlocal Pension Fund Chairman, John Agenbroad visited on April 17th in Commerce to provide information on the pension fund and answer questions regarding the fund.
This pension is the only 501 C18 in the country. It was founded in 1950 and the fund is overseen by union trustees , NO company trustees. There is in fact absolutely no involvement by the company in any way with regards to the fund, its investments or the administration of the fund.
The Fund's assets were reported in 2007 of the 57th Annual Report of The Trustees to be approximately 1.8 Billion dollars. John stated the current assets are reported to be 1.4 billion dollars.The administration fees are a mere 4% which is unbelievable for a fund with the assets that are in the ILPF.
Full retirement benefits at age 65. Of course early retirement is possible with the normal percentage of reduced benefits based on years retired prior to 65th birthday and length of participation in the fund.
The fund also contains a Disability Benefit once your account reaches a balance of $1500.00, everyone qualifies regardless of age.
The plan uses a unit based scale, 1 unit equaling $260.00. Once your account reaches a balance of $260.00, you are 100% vested. Monthly contributions are made on an after tax basis and contributions can be deffered when filing your income taxes. All members equally contribute an agreed monthly percentage of their gross monthly income. It also allows you to automatically contribute more when overtime is worked. There is currently a $7000.00 annual limit which the Teamsters are currently lobbying to increase to the same $16,500.00 limit applied to 401k's. We are told this may occur soon which will allow our members to increase their annual retirement investments.
The plan invests in equity funds, domestic and international that are screened through the AFL-CIO to insure there are no labor issues with the countries, companies or businesses that receive our union investments. The Fund will not invest in oppressed countries and never has, nor will it ever invest in hedge funds.
There has been 11 increases in benefits in a thirty year period with only 1 decrease over the same period. How many times have we had our benefits reduced until now that they're completely gone. Companies have abandoned their responsibility to provide retirement dollars to their long term valued employees, its now up to you to take care of your retirement investments.
There is also portability with the fund for up to two years if leaving the company. You may continue to contribute for up to two years at which time you may continue to participate in the fund if you remain in the printing industry, regardless of the new employer or whether employment is under union contract.
These are some of the main highlights of the Interlocal Pension Fund based on Chairman Agenbroad's presentation and questions asked by the members who actually took the time to attend this very important meeting. I was disappointed that Chairman Agenbroad, who also happens to be Mayor of Springboro, Ohio, took time from his busy schedule to come and meet all of you and bring such valuable information for your retirement future and there were an abundance of empty chairs.
With all the bullshit that has resulted as a result of ratifying the contract, the economy and the health of the newspaper industry, the ability to invest in the Interlocal Pension Fund will certainly make up for loss of the inferior retirement vehicles provided by the company.
Literature can be obtained from Keith Denson in Los Angeles or Charlie Laird in Orange County. The literature they possess are the Summary Plan Description and Trustee Indenture, The 57th Annual Report of the Trustees, an informative fund overview pamphlet and the Table of Benefits based on number of units.
I challenge everyone to take these documents to their financial consultants and/or tax preparers for their professional opinion of the information contained therein and whether they believe there is a comparable plan that you can invest in. I hope at least some of you accept this challenge and report your findings to Keith or myself to publish here. Don't you think you should at least investigate this plan and whether or not you can better invest your retirement savings elsewhere?
Chairman Agenbroad is willing to return and answer your questions and provide answers if any of you are interested and aren't too busy to be concerned about your retirement because you're all so freaking young. I will only ask him to return if commitments to attend are received.
We need to vote on participating in this fund so I suggest everyone get the necessary information literature from Keith, Charlie or myself and at least take advantage of one of the benefits of organizing that mangement can't screw with. Take responsibility for the future.