Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Wishes

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Members and Officers of GCC/IBT Local 140-N

Friday, December 23, 2011


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The company has notified the union that there have been numerous questionable events taking place in recent months that lead them to believe that there are employees possibly creating dangerous and costly downtime incidents during production.  For the record, the Union denies any such behavior.

It was brought to my attention that a reel arm bolt wrench found its way into the compactor and the wrench was propelled from the machine at a dangerous speed causing damage to the compactor, and more importantly, could have caused a serious injury, or possibly even death to employees that were in the area at the time.  No one is being accused of intentionally placing the wrench in the waste container but management does not consider this an accident.

In the name of safety and cooperation, I must remind all bargaining unit employees that the Union does not condone nor do we support any behavior that would place another employee in harms way or interferes with production. Furthermore, the Union will not defend nor represent any individual found guilty of participating in any proscribed activity.

The following language pertains to this notice and should be understood and followed.

Section 3.1. No Strike. (a) During the term of this Agreement there shall be no strikes,
sympathy strikes, work stoppages, slowdowns, boycotts, intentional interruption of
production, delays or suspension of work of any nature, and no other acts that interfere
with the Company’s operations or the production or sale of its products or services by the
Union, its officers, agents or members, or by the employees. During the term of this
Agreement there shall be no lockout of any employees by the Company.

(b) The Union agrees that it will take every effort possible to discourage, prevent and
end any strike or proscribed activity and will inform all employees who participate in
such activity that it is their individual responsibility.

(c) Any or all employees participating in any such activity proscribed herein shall be
subject to disciplinary action, including discharge. In the event that a grievance is filed
with respect to activity proscribed herein, the only question before the arbitrator shall be
whether the employee engaged in such proscribed activity. If the arbitrator finds that the
employee engaged in the proscribed activity, s/he shall have no authority to rescind or
otherwise modify the discipline imposed by the Employer.

In Solidarity,
Ronnie Pineda
GCC/IBT Local 140-N

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Contract Highlights/Lowlights

  1. $1000.00 signing bonus
  2. 18 weeks of severance equaling approximately $20,000.00 per employee
  3. Retained 5th week of Vacation for eligible presspersons
  4. Maintained a 35 hour workweek, not 40 hours for same rate of pay.
  5. Union Shop language, Become a member or become terminated, No more Freeriders
  6. Dues to be deducted bi-weekly instead of monthly
  7. Six Month Disability Job Protection, includes 12 weeks under FMLA without threat of job loss
  8. "Me Too" Sick day conversion for up to 20 disability days of sick pay.
  9. Improved Arbitration Language to expedite our Grievances.
  10. Sick days will be paid the equivalent of 7 hours pay regardless of shift for a total of 35 hours per year.
  11. Union Leave of absence for Union Officers to conduct union business
  12. We now split arbitration costs instead of loser pays.
  13.  Transparent vacation pick process.  
These are the changes that I consider improvements on behalf of the membership during these negotiations.
The lowlights are obvious and listed below.
  1. Continued Wage freeze. Flipside, No wage concessions!
  2. 8 Part-time employees. Flipside, hired from only our rank and file!
  3. If Severance is accepted, Recall is waived
Compared to contracts negotiated in recent months at newspapers across the country, This current contract and the new language contained within can be considered damn good these days, whether you care to believe it or not.  Thank you Brothers Denson and Brierley for your hard and under appreciated work in negotiating these contract improvements. Thanks also to GCC/IBT International Representative Mike Huggins for your guidance and leadership at the table under very difficult bargaining circumstances. Thank you to all of the members who truly understand the situation for what it is and for your continued support. The Union gave you a voice, use it wisely and effectively, not against those that stand up for, and beside you.
    You can please some of the people some of the time, but in the pressroom, you will never please all of the people at any given time. We are doing the very best we can considering we're fighting the company with one hand tied behind our back, while the other is consistently seeking the back of a fellow employee to plunge a knife into. You know who you are, sitting in our meetings like Judas at the last supper. Sad but true. Apparently some things will never change, for everyone's sake, I hope it does before this agreement expires. If you haven't read it yet, do so.

    In Solidarity?

    Ronnie Pineda,
    GCC/IBT Local 140-N

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Meeting Reminder

    Don't forget tomorrows Ratification meeting at 1:00 pm in La Mirada at the Holiday Inn directly across from the Elephant Bar on Firestone Blvd. The address is in the previous meeting post.

    I apologize that this meeting could not be postponed and it is imperative that you attend and vote.

    I will explain fully and give my perspective on our current situation at tomorrow's meeting so please make every effort to attend.

    Ronnie Pineda

    Thursday, December 08, 2011


    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    International Representative, Mike Huggins notified company attorney, Amy Foran of the results of our recent ratification vote and brought our concerns and reasons for rejecting the proposed contract to her attention. Efforts were made by Rep. Huggin seeking to influence the company into at least modifying the proposed changes that would appease the members. The response was negative and we were informed that the company was not willing to change the previous offer and has now deemed the offer as their "LAST AND FINAL"

    As a result, it was necessary that I call this emergency meeting to discuss the current situation and the options that were explored upon receiving the company's LAF. I will provide my perspective on the situation at the meeting and hope to have a good turnout. It is important to attend and VOTE.

    The meeting will be held on Monday 12/12/2011 at the La Mirada Holiday Inn at 1:00 PM, directly across from the Elephant Bar (where we held our previous meeting) on the north side of the 5, Santa Ana Fwy, 14299 Firestone Blvd. La Mirada, Ca. 90638 the number in case you wish to call for directions is (714) 670-1685

    In Solidarity,

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