L.A. Times Management Violate Employee's First Ammendment Rights
Ed Padgett, AKA "The Blogging Pressman" was suspended today by management, pending an investigation, for content he posted on http://www.edpadgett.com/ regarding the production problems experienced on Thursday, June 18, 2010. An announcement by the L.A. Times Publisher, Eddy Hartenstein vaguely described the situation; Ed's post included details and opinions that Ed has every right to post under the same First Ammendment that protects the company's right to publish a newspaper.
(Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.)— The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Apparently Ed's comments were not well received by management and their feelings got hurt. Thats a shame because management should be more receptive to the constructive critcism that would prevent them from making foolish decisions such as suspending Brother Ed. Ed DID NOT disclose any company or trade secrets that would be detremental to the business, or operation, he merely voiced his opinion based on his more than 30 years experience working for the Los Angeles Times.
No one in management comes close to Ed's years of experience or dedicated service to this newspaper. As a matter of fact, none of his accusers could hold a candle to his ability to operate the behomoth presses that produce the L.A. Times! It has always been an area of contention when managers tell Qualified Journeypresspersons how to do their job, when they are incapable of perfoming our Craft.
Ed, as many of you are aware of, is our Local Recording Secretary; management has targeted our Executive Board Members on previous occassions for demotions and dicipline as a form of punishment for exercising our rights under the law to form a union. I intend on filing an Unfair Labor Practice charge tomorrow morning for that very reason.
This is a fight that we as a Union, will not back down from! I have said to the previous management team that if they don't like what is on their radio, change the station, if they don't like whats on their television, change the channel and if they don't like what they read on the internet, DON'T COME TO OUR SITES! They were not created for their benefit to begin with! Yeah I'm talking to you in Chicago,(whoever you are), and locally, Newton, Walker and Malcolm!
The Union will seek a reversal of Ed's suspension as well as retribution for Ed's lost wages. I have spoken to President Tedeschi and he agrees that this is a form of unjust dicipline and we have the support of the International and it's Legal team. I also suspect Ed's Blogging Community will allign their forces in defense of Brother Ed's rights to blog on the internet and voice his opinions that are legally protected.
Since you, management cannot resist, and will never cease reading our blogs, here is a message directly to you.
First, recognized Ed Padgett's rights under the law to post whatever he has a right to publish and reverse his suspension. Second, compensate Ed for his lost wages and this matter will be considered resolved. Should you decide to ignore these recommendations, we are prepared to defend Ed's rights to the bitter end and address this matter publicly, as well as in the legal arena, the choice is yours.