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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