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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thank you Sam

Mr. Zell, thank you for coming to our production facility today. I’m sure your time is very valuable, and you are a busy man. However you gave many of us things to laugh about, things to contemplate, and challenges we face. You created a comfortable environment for many of us who do not take ourselves so serious. You have given many of us hope, your gesture in taking the time to see the everyday Joes' like us, is something for us to thank you about. I don’t recall ever seeing our old CEO in our Town Hall? Your personality is very uplifting and emulates the confidence that comes from someone whose accomplishments have been on a global scale. You have people skills. As a new employee owner, I truly believe that with good business practices, we can be relevant for the next 126 years. Thank you for cheering up a whole room of skeptics. You are that light at the end of the tunnel.

14 comments:

Nubia said...

Nice comment, Wolf. I don't even work there, but my little knowledge of Sam tells me that he is, indeed, the people person that you've witnessed today, and a sincere one as well.

Nothing works better for morale of the line staff than a business magnate who knows (and respects)those who keeps his bread buttered!

Take this as a sign that things will start looking up. It is yours to claim.

STAY POSITIVE!

grandspud said...

Wolf said,
"...As a new employee owner..."


Wait a minute Wolf!

I think employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement are still just employees. You might or might not become an owner like the rest of us. Participation in the ESOP, and every other aspect of your job, is subject to negotiation.

Personally, I think it best we all become owners. That way everyone is in the same, leaking boat and more likely to row together.

However, unions often prove to be anchors and being moored is not an option. Either we set sail or we sink.

Anonymous said...

Yes so far the great union victory are making sure press room gets free cafeteria food and do not have to work a full shift or wash blankets two times.
This look like an anchor to me and an anchor to the old days.
At least maybe the water will not be real cold and some of us better learn how to swim real fast.

Wolf said...

For the Record I am not a union member. However, like Zell, I am not anti-union, just anti lazy.

Anonymous said...

Wolf,
Then yes, you are anti-union. The union guys are more concerned with bettering their lot by revising the pressroom seniority list to their own advantage than they are with negotiating a a fair and realistic contract for all pressroom "bothers and sisters". This, and other forms of feather bedding, is why the union's bid for a contract will untimately fail.

grandspud said...

The important thing is we must be nimble and flexible. Suppose we suddenly get a contract to print another newspaper. will pressmen quickly change schedules to meet the new production needs?

If today is any indication, we're in trouble. At this time pressmen refuse to even start vacation selections because, "we have always bid work schedules first." By the time we finally get around to it, half the year will be gone.

The pressroom is key to operations success. There are many good people there that "get it." However, there are also too many (in all departments) that think we can return to the 1980s.

Personally, I think we're in for a thrill ride. And, just like the best amusement parks, we're going to be scared shitless but having fun at the same time.

Wolf said...

People that believe we can return to the 80’s should work in Disneyland, maybe in fantasy land. As for vacation quarrels, well I can only say that we are all grown as men and women, and we need to start acting like it. I believe that the key to any successful business begins with great leaders, who have a great vision, and are not afraid to take calculated risks. People have historically followed greatness into any battle. I think that history will show that what we lacked for the last 20 years was great leaders. The only reason we have a Union at this point is because people lost all confidence with management and the system. It took an act of God to change management and in less that 4 months we have already met the BOSS. We never met Fitzmillions in all the years he was the boss, go figure, the only real big change in the last 8 years has been upper management pushing their agenda on us. Result? A production facility was shut down, the Union was voted in, moral is at the lowest point ever, and we don’t know if we will get out of the hole. I bet money that if management from the beginning engaged the pressroom in a proactive manner, instead of using divisive methods to accomplish the same results, we might have never seen a union voted in. However when the Generals shit don’t stink it makes it hard for others to listen to them. Somewhere people lost integrity and pride of self accomplishments. Sucks but it is so true, and we can see it in our work force. My only wish is that we all stop complaining about what your job is, and just do the job that needs to be done. I don’t care who has the most expensive car, nor do I care who has the biggest house, because at the end of the day, if we have no paper to print, how will we all pay for all the nice things we want for our Children and our Grandchildren?

Nubia said...

AMEN, Wolf!

Leave the naysayers to their own agendas. Let them be miserable!

It doesn't matter WHAT business you're in. Good leadership is what counts. When one can recognize those who makes his success what it is, then he's bound to continue to be successful. Which, in turn, allows his supporters the luxury of making things better for themselves and their families.

Keep the faith!

Ronnie Pineda said...

Wolf,
We haven't met but we will someday soon. I really appreciate your perspective on why a majority in the pressroom voted for Union representation and wanted to say that you hit the nail on the head.

granspud and anonymous have consistantly criticized our efforts to negotiate a fair contract for our shops.

Their arguments are far from the truth and baseless.

As far as Anonymous and the Seniority List, any idiot knows that everyone is going to vote on a contract before it is ratified and no personal agendas are possible because no one will vote for something they disagree with.

Well maybe not all idiots, because they probably still don't get it!

Everyone gets pissed but no one does anything. I DID! WE DID!

Granspud said: "The pressroom is key to operations success."

That's exactly why we need protections only contained in a collective Bargaining agreement.

Kanani said...

Nice comment Wolf!

Kanani said...

Personally, I think we're in for a thrill ride. And, just like the best amusement parks, we're going to be scared shitless but having fun at the same time.

While I'm not there, this is exactly the impression those of us on the outside have of operations over there at the Times. Great summation.

grandspud said...

Ronnie Pineda said...
"...granspud and anonymous have consistently criticized our efforts to negotiate a fair contract for our shops...


Quiz: TRUE or FALSE

- The union filed an unfair labor practice because they were not getting free meal tickets to the cafeteria.

- The union filed an unfair labor practice because they felt they should not have to work a full shift.

- The union filed an unfair labor practice because they did not want to perform work like washing blankets.

- The union thought it was unfair to pick vacations at the beginning of the year like everyone else because crew bids had been delayed.

I guess we criticized your efforts to negotiate a fair contract because our definition of fair differs from yours.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie said:
"As far as Anonymous and the Seniority List, any idiot knows that everyone is going to vote on a contract before it is ratified and no personal agendas are possible because no one will vote for something they disagree with."

You mean the way everyone voted for shop stewards?

And why do you call anyone who disagrees with your vision of the future an idiot?

Anonymous said...

Great point Anonymous about how the vote for shop steward was conducted.

BTW- What is this I hear about something called "super-seniority" for the shop stewards?