INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS
JAMES P. HOFFA
25 Louisiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Dear Los Angeles Times Pressroom Employee:
You know that the Tribune Company is in trouble and looking for a buyer. Here at the Times that turmoil resulted in the firing of the paper's publisher and editor. They refused to follow orders from Chicago when told to lay off more staff. The new Tribune replacements are here to carry out any orders dictated to them. These circumstances clearly demonstrate why you need a strong voice to protect your jobs and future - presently you have none.
This union campaign is not about hurting the Times. We do not want to do that. In fact, we want the paper to be successful and prosper. However, we do believe that employees - whose outstanding performance makes the company profitable - should have a voice in decisions affecting their welfare and the workplace. No one knows the pressroom better then you. No one but you knows what is best for your family.
Without union representation, you have no legal rights or voice in these matters. All decisions are made by a plant manager or a Tribune executive in Chicago. Sometimes the company acts responsibly. Often, it does not. In either case you are denied any real input that union representation provides. It's that simple.
As newspaper craft persons, you exercise intelligence and initiative on the job every day. Union membership affords the opportunity to do the same in matters essential to your livelihood. Other than that, the boss solely makes all the decisions. In order to keep their power, they want you to vote no. assuring their absolute control.
In these uncertain times, with Tribune trying to sell all or part of its news operation, it is important that you take steps to protect your interests. Whether or not Tribune remains intact, you should make union representation — certified by the National Labor Relations Board - a top priority so that you have legal remedies if the company seeks to make significant changes.
Tribune already has stated that more cuts are needed to boost profits for shareholders. If the company is sold, new owners will likely do the same. Do not allow yourself to he put at a disadvantage by executives who care primarily about the bottom line - and their own paychecks.
Times management is trying to intimidate you by claiming unionization would lead to a strike. They cite strikes that happened_decades ago but do not mention the GCC/IBT's record of settling disputes without resorting to such action. Recently, at Newsday, the company feared there might be a strike. We never threatened such action and none took place. We settled that contract - receiving $13 million in union signing bonuses.
For any of you who are still undecided about union membership, we want you to know that we are sincere in our pledge to create a strong independent local union that represents Times workers. The 1.4 million members of the Teamsters will assist you in obtaining a fair and equitable pressroom contract. As you know. the drivers who distribute the Los Angeles Times are Teamster members. They are eager to welcome you into IBT ranks and enthusiastically support your efforts to organize.
We are with you all the way. Stay strong and united in order to protect your jobs and families. Vote YES and become part of the Teamster family and benefit by the strength and solidarity of Teamster power.
JAMES P. HOFFA, General President, IBT President. GCC/IBT
GEORGE TEDESCHI, President, Graphic Communications Conference
1900 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 • phone (202) 462-1400 fax (202) 721-0600