Monday, January 26, 2009

Democracy In Action!

Our first General Meeting went well and I was very pleased to see the participation of all attending members. We conducted our meeting under Roberts Rule of Order and those in attendance caught on very quickly.

I was equally proud to witness democracy in action when establishing our dues. As was said from the very beginning, the membership will determine and vote on the dues we will be paying monthly.

The Executive Board in last weeks meeting approved a motion to set dues at 2 hours per month to remain consistent with the amount that was stated during organizing.
The members in attendance did not approved the 2 hours per month and a motion to set the dues at a flat rate was voted on and approved.

A motion to pay $70.00 per month was made, and a vote by majority was made against this amount also. A motion to pay $60.00 per month immediately followed, was voted on and approved by majority of the membership in attendance.

I understand some were reluctant to submit a dues check-off authorization prior to knowing an amount and encourage everyone to complete your Membership Application and Dues Check-off Authorization and submit them so you too can participate in your Union and have your voice heard like everyone in attendance did today.

We had a very spirited question and answer and I hope we answered all your questions.
The one answer we all want to know is how the pending cuts will effect our shops, and how deep those cuts will be. There are many rumors and I can only say that we wont know the specifics until we sit down with management. As soon as we have any definite information, we will make that information available.

It sickens me to know that we have to yet again endure another exodus of our brothers and sisters, especially in these difficult economic times. It equally sickens me that this is always the method of choice by management to correct budget shortfalls. We have many ideas that have potential to help our newspaper economically and are more than willing to share these ideas as well as work with management to implement them. All it requires is management to accept our decision to form a union and cease their campaign against our shops. As I stated before, we are not, nor should we be viewed or treated as enemies of the Los Angeles Times.

Ronnie Pineda
GCC/IBT Local 140-N

Monday, January 19, 2009


Huggins 1-19-09 Cost Reduction

What Are Dues Used For?

Dues pay for services. Members decide on the level of dues they will charge themselves to pay for their union services. After the employees in your company vote to be represented by the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, you have a voice in what your dues will be.

These are but a few of the services that your union dues provide for you on the local and International and Conference levels:

1. Handling by the local union of all grievances, conducting collective bargaining with your company, and coordinating the work of the local stewards and local officers.
2. Training of stewards and local officers.
3. Training in safety and health.
4. Assistance in dealing with health and safety problems on the job.
5. Legal counsel to help win ironclad guarantees in your union contract and to represent you in back pay lawsuits and other legal actions.
6.The use of data developed by the GCC/IBT's Contracts and Research Department, including pay scales, contract language, and job descriptions from GCC/IBT contracts throughout the country.
7. Assistance with strategic campaigns for organizing and bargaining.
8. Publications to keep the members informed on union activities. All members receive the Graphic Communicator, the GCC/IBT's official publication.
9. Salaries of secretaries, officers, and staff.
10. Representation in Washington, D.C., Ottawa and in state and provincial legislatures on issues that affect your wages, job security, and working conditions.
(Source: GCC/IBT website)

For the record, During Organizing, it was stated that we would pay 2 hours wages per month in Union Dues. We will be scheduling meetings very, very soon to discuss our dues.

Do You Have A Dream?

Lest we forget..............

GCC/IBT Local 140-N Officers and Stewards

GCC/IBT Local 140-N
Executive Board Members

Ronnie Pineda

Executive Vice President
Keith Denson

Secretary Treasurer
Linard Williams

Recording Secretary
Edward Padgett

Vice Presidents
Los Angeles David Rascon Orange County Charles Reney

Executive Board Members
Mike Brierley
Charles Laird

Shop Stewards
1st Shift
An-tony Young
Doug Myers/Appointed
2nd Shift
Timothy Stock
Brian Fins
3rd Shift
Ponciano Eligino
To be appointed

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Graphic Communications Conference Local 140-N Newsletter

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Since ratifying our new contract we have been victimized by management in ways that are only meant to divide our shops and punish us for exercising our right to be represented by the GCC/IBT. Management is trying to convince us that we would have been better off without a union. Albeit, management has had the right to do the things they are doing now prior to organizing, the fact is, they didn’t, and they don’t have to now, even with their mgt. rights. Management’s actions can only be viewed as hostile towards us, their valued employees.

They seem to forget that these types of abuses are the main reasons we organized to begin with. We know that some in our ranks did not support the organizing efforts, but we ask you now to support your union and its newly elected officials because they will be representing all of us.

Our contract is not the greatest of contracts, but it’s not the worst either. It is the foundation of future contracts that can continually get better by unity and solidarity. We all know the state of the newspaper industry, the economy and the dire condition of Tribune and its negative effect on the Los Angeles Times. Those factors made it very difficult to reject this contract understanding there was nothing to go back to the table for because conditions were worsening by the minute. The bankruptcy proved that. What do you think our situation would be like right now had we not ratified this contract, at this point in time? It would definitely be worse.

Pressroom employees across the country just like us are losing jobs, suffering wage cuts and benefit cost increases as well. We did suffer some bumps and bruises, but we didn’t get knocked out. We will continue to fight until we are treated with the respect we once knew and appreciated by management and supervision simply because we are not, nor should we be viewed as enemies of this company.

Not all, but certain members of management and supervision have taken it very personal that we have organized a union and it is their mission to make everyone’s life miserable, all the while blaming the union, the contract and ourselves. The union is here to stay and if they don’t like it they know where the door is. WE are the union, and why would we do this to ourselves? We all know who is to blame. It is the same person who can make things right should he decide to.
Until then:

1) Know the contract inside and out by reading it regularly to keep yourself familiar with it.
2) Do your job to the best of your ability and do it safely.
3) Avoid any confrontation, especially with certain supervisors.
4) Do as you’re instructed by your supervisor to the extent their instruction is not hazardous to any ones health and safety. We can file a grievance later if it’s a contract violation.

Perseverance has always been our greatest strength! We are some of the finest pressmen and presswomen in the country and deserve to be treated as such.

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