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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Union Busting

The following message was received tonight from David and is posted in verbatim. Ed

From Dave Rascon 9/29/06

In the weeks ahead management will intensify their union busting campaign. You have all been here before and know what a NO vote gets you. When a company hires a union buster it coast them money. But its money well spent for the company because in the long run, if it keeps you from getting a contract for three or four years, they would have made the union busters fee back and then some. On Tuesday 9/26/06 the SCABS FOR HIRE notice came out, whether this was orchestrated is unknown yet, but it sure feels like it was, maybe I’m wrong, will see.

You never see the union buster, but he is there. He coaches upper management on what to say and how to say it, what to write and how to write it. Then in turn upper management coaches pressroom supervisors in their roll in keeping the union out. Such as saying things like, you could get less in negotiations, I could lose my job if the union gets in, and in short he is playing on your emotions. They do this with employees they are close to, because they know it is illegal for management to go one on one with an employee in order to get him or her to vote no. I don’t know if this is happening yet, but if you were a party to one of these conversations with a supervisor you know I’m telling you the truth.
Once we file for an election the company will have four weeks in which to run an anti-union campaign. This is where the dirtiest union busting goes on. STAY FOCUSED.

About two years ago or so, Kurtich had one of his non-mandatory town hall meetings where he gave his two-bucket speech; I’m guessing he was implying that we would have to double our work efforts. What the hell have we been doing? Year after year we are left to pick up the pieces and put it all back together again. This can only happen because of the dedication shown by employees at the LA TIMES. As trades persons we just can’t through up our hands and give up. Then he spoke about dropping circulation numbers; I don’t remember what the meeting was meant to convey. Maybe he was defending more cuts. It just doesn’t seem right that executives get bonuses for putting people out of work. Especially when they don’t have a real plan to build circulation or promote our paper.

Here is an example of promoting our paper, or lack of. A subscriber now has to request
The TV listings to be in their weekend paper or they will not receive them, its just not
Part of the service anymore, how can this type of cost cutting build circulation?


I’m asking that you make an educated vote this time. If all you have ever heard is what management was feeding you, then you need to do some research, on your own from home. Here are two places you can go to; SAVE OUR TRADE.COM you find links to GCC/IBT, NLRB, US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, and ED PADGETT.COM
If you go to Padgett’s site click on TRIBUNE WRITER HAS HAD ENOUGH this person has a lot to say. Isn’t it funny that since Kurtich’s letter entitled ENOUGH IS ENOUGH came out everybody in the company is saying it?
Don’t be fooled, management doesn’t have your best interest on their minds. At this point whether a corporate co. or private owner owns us, the bottom line is the same. To go into the future without protecting what we have now, in my opinion is not a good idea.

As you can see they have taken cost cutting in operations to a new level; first the drivers and mechanics, and now the closing of the Northridge Plant. This makes all the other take-aways look insignificant, not to mention what has happened to other departments.
All of this while the LA TIMES is doing well financially. Some say that 20% profit margin is wrong, that it was bloated by Tribune to quite investors. Whether its wrong or right, how much profit was created from cost cutting, and how will they keep that 20% from falling? Jeff Johnson has not come to our rescue, and no one will. I think we better start looking after ourselves.
M.Kurtich has always said that these cuts are necessary to insure our future. Well the future is here; take a good look at it, and take control of it. Tribune has driven circulation down, and taken our newspaper with it. STAY STRONG, Kurtich and his union busting team are going to use every dirty trick in the book on this one; they know if the employees win the election it’s going to cost them money, and will spread into newsprint and post press. Kurtich is again is saying that you could get less in your first contract, BULL. Think about this, how could unions even exist if not for that first contract, or is he saying were so ignorant, that we might vote yes to a contract that gives us less. Make no mistake; a first time contract is going to cost them a lot of money.

Neither Ronnie nor myself had any intention of starting a union drive again. It is time consuming, physically and emotionally draining. Early this year some employees made contact with me and asked if it were possible to start a union drive. I thought to myself with most of our support laid off, OC being anti union for so long, and not knowing where SF stood, what chance would we have? I said that I would get back to them on this issue, I never did, here we are with 65% of pledge cards turned in and we will get 70%. It’s amazing what we have accomplished with just a hand full of employees from both plants.
I don’t have permission to mention them by name, but thank you all for the work and effort you have given to this campaign. I can only think, that if we had more of us stepping up to the plate, who knows, we might have been in negotiations right now.

I can’t over stress this; all employees in the bargaining unit will have a chance to nominate and vote for who they want to be on the negotiating committee. Whether you voted for union, or against union representation. An election is a secret ballet; no one knows how you voted. This is why all employees have a choice on who will represent in negotiations.
Ronnie Pineda and I, we are not the leaders. We don’t have anymore say than any other employee. We can’t get anymore than any other employee. You handed the ball to us and we’re running with it. We are willing to hand off the ball, just be there when we do and don’t drop it. UNIGHT AND STAND STRONG

I never said I was a writer. Sometimes it’s hard for me to express what I feel.
Have patients, we will get through this.

David Rascon

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said Dave ( you are a writer )


Danny

Anonymous said...

(sigh)---How may times does it take for those who are prounion to realize that the majority of the presspeople do not want a union. I worked with you, David, for many years and you are a great guy and a good pressman. However, given the current state of affairs with the Times and the Tribune and economic conditions involved with both, having them put out the money to fight union organization probably will only hurt the employees (lack of raises, etc.). If the Tribune decides to heck with it, they may just shut the paper down long before any union representation would be in place to protect you. It doesn't make any difference how many pledge cards you have, because you know they are not all going to vote for a union, pledge card or no card. If any employees are laid off or all employees put out of a job because of this union organization, well, I wouldn't want that on my concience. I will keep my name out of this for personal reasons.

Anonymous said...

Who in the heck is Dave Rascon

Anonymous said...

If Tribune is so tight on money, why is Wayne Bean still sandbagging at the SFV Plant? This (in my opinion) 1st class jerk, making prbably between 135K and 160K a year, still at a plant that has no production and very few people still working there. That looks like a great waste of money and very strong cronyism on Kurdick's part. Wake up Mark, and do the right thing for a change.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave learn how to spell one of your powerful words UNITE.......

Anonymous said...

yeah ... shut down the times just because the pressroom went union...how stupid does THAT sound...20 % profit or more ( most likey )maybe this person is the same one who decided too trade sammy sosa while he was still in his prime ( poor cubs ) typical of someone who is either fearful or a kiss*&s ( the latter I fear ) Dave you keep on keepin on brother at least you got a pair

Danny

Anonymous said...

At the townhall meeting I had to bust out laughing. Some of your brothers were crying the blues about their working conditions. Some of them were already showered, dressed in shorts and ready to bustout as their runs were already off. This would be 2 to 3 hours early.

Poor, poor mistreated babies.

Anonymous said...

Must be from O.C. ...that can't be L.A.

Dave said...

Anonymous #2 your comment is a little misleading, why is it that every time we have a union drive there are different employees joining our efforts. Its never a good time to have a union drive for the company, in good or bad times. Your raises will be there when this is over, one way or the other; with a union raise you will also get a C.O.L.A.
Winning an election is not going to cause the Times to close their doors. You know, the goose that lays the golden egg. Our little contract is not going to disrupt the company’s cash flow. If the company wants to fight the union then the money should come from executives’ bonuses and not from money that has already been promised to you. That would be like beating you with your own stick. About a month or two ago I came across an article about these two executives who were going to give up their bonuses for one year so they could create an incentive pool. Total bonuses 4 million; I think it’s a little too early to say the sky is falling. And thanks for the kind words about me, but it’s not about me, it’s about every employee at the Times.
Anonymous #4 thanks for the spell check; I don’t like being out in the open like this because now I am subjected to ridicule and finger pointing, but this is very important, I don’t mine taking it on the chin.
Dave Rascon

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, are you as lazy as Danny?

Anonymous said...

Danny you sound kind of sweet on Dave---what give Daniella

Anonymous said...

Dave what kind of presstruckdriver are you, or can you really make our product???????? How about you Ronnie have you made it out of the basement yet?? Danny have you made any fires on the folder lately??? Oh ya I want to follow some BOZO's like Dave, Ronnie, Danny. Remember don't follow ( D-R-D )

Anonymous said...

The basement boys always whining.Maybe not enough work between paster cycles.Just bored rebel without a cause.Ronnie and Dave and Danny what a trio D-R and D LOL in OC

Anonymous said...

...Ronnie have you made it out of the basement yet??

Do I understand this correctly? The guy heading this campaign is one of those "professionals" that put tape on rolls for 20 years? That is when they are not kicking back reading.

Anonymous said...

lol... I was one of many who lit that bad boy up in smoke...LMAO


Danny

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!!
While I encourage views from both sides of the union issue, please try and be more constructive with your comments. Attacking unions is one thing; attacking people you don’t even know is another. It is apparent that OC operator has a problem with hostility directed towards reelroom personnel. Management should look at comments made by OC operator alone. Reelroom personnel are not your peons Mr. OC operator, they are employees of the Los Angeles Times and should be treated with respect. Do you really think you do it all yourself? You gave us your identity when you made comments on another post, but we will leave your name out, and just let OC take care of you.
If it makes you feel better about yourself to refer to reelroom personnel, as paster makers, then so be it. You need help pal.
I’m starting think that it’s not going union that you fear, but the fact that you might be wrong, and what we paster makers were saying was right all along. I suspect your ego would not withstand such a blow. Not only have you not said anything intelligent during this campaign, you haven’t given us some other direction to take, give me something that is better than what we are trying to accomplish. Mimicking what management has said over and over is not going to cut it pal, and cowering in a corner waiting to be beaten again is not an option.
49 is less than 50 hint; D Rascon

Anonymous said...

Ronnie might have 20 years, but not in the pressroom!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, making 30-something an hr. means being able to work all postions as a pressperson. I bet that OC- Operator can work your spot, can you work his???

OC OPERATOR said...

Ronnie management is not my enemy.The LA TIMES and MANAGEMENT have been very good to my family and i.For many years and all my coworkers which make our company. The company is us everybody as whole all of us inside get it.Everybody is key the life blood of the company is all coworkers.I just dont understand what your complaining about.Its work i come in do my job get paid no managers give me a hard time only friendly smiles and thanks. Like i said if i didnt like it here i would leave. The LA TIMES does not make me stay the door swings the other way. You to have a choice maybe some of you guys need a fresh start at another career. PEACE a well rounded journeyman and operator and a GRATEFUL PERSON

Anonymous said...

"lol... I was one of many who lit that bad boy up in smoke...LMAO
Danny"


No, you're mistaken, you're one of the few who have managed to actually set a folder on fire because you were too busy sitting down and reading the paper to watch your folder. But I'm glad you can laugh about it.

"Ronnie might have 20 years, but not in the pressroom!!!"

You know, it's funny that those who seem to miss the "good ol' days" of the pressroom the most weren't even in the pressroom in the "good ol' days".

Anonymous said...

Hey ....Tribune just hired Lou Pinella to manage the Chicago cubs for 10 million for 3 yrs .... Oh yes a contract
when was the last time the cubs won the Series ?? ...1908
Damn !!! will tribune ever learn!!

Danny

Jess Espinoza said...

Hey Danny,
10 million samolians is a lot of dough, but ya gotta love them Cubbies! On the serious side, I wonder how much profit the Cubs bring in?

Anonymous said...

not 20 % jess