Friday, June 26, 2009

Another Reason To Support The Employee Free Choice Act.

When An Angel Goes Home

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.

140-N News

I have launched the GCC/IBT Local 140-N members blog at 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 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 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 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.

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.

Friday, June 05, 2009

SPECIAL REPORT: Facing Pay Cuts, Furloughs to Avoid Layoffs

By Joe Strupp
Published: June 05, 2009
11:00 AM ET

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.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Severance Pay

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.


Lump Sum Payments

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.


No Threats, Abundance of Lies.

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.

Los Angeles Times Employees Illegally Threatened with Lawsuit for Refusing to Pay Union Dues
"Illegal contract provides pretext for Teamster bosses to sue employees for not joining the union or paying dues"

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.

Ronnie Pineda
GCC/IBT Local 140-N

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