Thursday, May 15, 2008

Save Our Trade: Postcard from The Negotiation Table

By Ronnie Pineda

We all knew that the negotiations were going to be especially difficult during the economic downturn that newspapers are facing these days, but the reality is, we are also facing the same economic challenges.

These past two days of negotiations have revealed to the negotiation committee as well as our Representatives that, the Company, by their actions, have no intention of negotiating a "FAIR" collective bargaining agreement with the pressmen and presswomen who print the Los Angeles Times.

To be transported to to entire article, click on the link below or on the title.

Postcard from The Negotiation Table


Anonymous said...

Ronnie.... Ronnie!!!

"That's fair considering that's what we currently receive"

Fair??? Where were you when you were told that the starting point for all negotiations would be that you have nothing and that all wages and benefits that you currently receive would have to be re-negotiated! You’ve known all along that you were going to have to “give to get” and the only thing that you have to give is what you’ve “got”!!!!!!

Tell it like it is Ronnie.... be “FAIR”

Anonymous said...

Oh Ronnie let me get my tissue booh hooh.
You are upset the company wants to possibly change the pay scale based on skill set? Whats wrong with that? The operator that has done a great job for 20+ years should get paid more than the person that puts tape on paper and spends a good portion of there shift smoking in the parking lot.
Sounds fair to me.

rek said...

Dont forget that the person who puts the tape on the paper can wrap the rollers.It can cause major down down not to mention the expense of changing the rollers.Not only that if the paper dont come up the twenty year operator aint runnin.The operator should get paid more but not all the people who put tape on smoke in the parking lot.I remember some operators smoking and drinking.Alt of us remember Sint anthonys and code 7.,spending almost the whole shift in the bar.True it was along time ago butalot of these same people until recently worked the pressrooms.

grandspud said...

rek said,
"...the person who puts the tape on the paper can wrap the rollers...if the paper dont come up the twenty year operator aint runnin..."

Also, the much lower paid part-time mailer downstairs can jam their stackers and if he doesn't run, the twenty year operator ain't runnin' either. Point is, wages are market driven and based on what it takes to get competent, reliable help. Wages are not based on what the lazy or incompetent can jack-up.

I think it is a good thing we are highly paid. I would not like to see that changed. However, in return everyone should give all they have, everyday, to get the best paper to our readers' on-time. Therein lies the only chance of saving our asses.

rek said...

to grandspud
couldn't have put itbetter

Anonymous said...

Ronnie this is what you wanted ! The company gave you everything and that wasn't good enough. Now you have to fight for everything and your not used to this concept ..

I think you are realizing the company isn't going to coddle you anymore.

eddo said...

Ronnie, You may be better off staying at the bargaining table til the newspaper folds.

When I was a manager there, it appeared to me that the VPs were intentionaly driving you in the direction of a union. In either case, you have lost a lot, and stand to lose a lot more.

I like your solidarity stance, because, united you stand, devided you fall. One for all and all for one.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Eddo the company can eventually declare an impasse and then implement their "last and best offer". It then becomes known as posted working conditions. Then the union either has to accept the conditions or go on strike. Hopefully it never gets to that.

Anonymous said...

EEEHaw. The post card is great when you link to the full article. It is perfect. I was thinking about starting a blog called L.A. Times Best in Class - Kiss My Ass.-with a picture similar to the post card of course.

I met with Mark one afternoon and I recall telling him that with a staff like his, he would never achieve best in class. Not to say they were all bad of course, however, I think some of them were so bad, they could not act naturally. Instead of getting the de-lousing powder out, he hired a woman to try and teach them how to act and speak. We called her a groomer. This was another reason for us to pause for laughter when we would see her grooming one of her clients as we glanced through his window.

I was led to believe Mark's temper was so bad at some of the staff meetings, that he was first in line. Hearsay has it, he hired a guy, who during previous employment, slammed a press person against the wall. Some of the others were rumored to have foul mouths. One of these seemed to literally explode at a meeting one day. This was after the grooming sessions, but then, maybe he never listened to the groomer. I beleive there was even a cry baby in the group. One day his whine was so pathetic, I remember a consultant telling him that he needed to have s thicker skin. In my opinion, it didn't work. A few of them were Ok and did not need grooming. I believe the others to have caused Mark to fail in keeping a union out, and thus the loss of his employment. Aren't you all so glad that I have such a pleasant disposition? I like to say, What me worry? God feeds the birds doesn't he? Too bad we were surrounded by slammers, a cry baby, and foul mouths.

Too bad the union's successful bid did not come sooner, those poor souls left behind, have already lost 95% of their bargaining chips. What are you going to do now? The chips you have left, and the under the table cards, are your ticket to survival. Use them wisely.

Anonymous said...

Hey Russ Newton

There is a great story in todays business section. It talks about GEs rank and yank rating system. GE would fire the bottom 10 % of their work force each year. Lets try this in the pressroom. There are lots of unemployed pressmen that would love to work for the Times.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ronnie, The Mayhem at the OC Plant article below this one is getting more postings than this one. You need to rally the troops man. We are not going to win the battle with this kind of attention. Rally the troops and stay focused. This is our livelyhood.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said: "GE would fire the bottom 10 % of their work force each year. Lets try this in the pressroom." Ge also cleaned house at the top. We could cut loose an easy 50% of the useless eaters at the top. Now these blokes could go to work at sewage treatment plants where they belong , with the rest of the turds. Ahahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Eddo good to see You are back on your medicine your post isnt as whacked.
Why do you refer yourself as a 3rd person??

bill said...

wow you guys and gals are really at it. it seems no different than 62 or 67. and thats a loooong time ago

Eddo said...

Grandspud said "Therein lays the only chance of saving our asses." Eddo says that the first obligation of the flock, when the shepards become as ravenous wolves, is to protect themselves. Viewing the leadership and representation operations was afforded; they had no other options other than to vote the union in.

Ronnie - You and the troops need to hang tough. You knew it would be rough going in, hang in there, say your prayers, and expect the best. Words are your weapon. Speak wisely, or let those who represent you carry the message. The people, who post against you on this blog, are a mere dissenting voice to the truth who speaks.

Lou Nicosia said...

Please everyone listen: The days of the Chandlers and Times Mirror are gone. You work for the Tribune Corp now. They think evryone is overpaid and underworked. They want to take everything from you regardless if you work upstairs or down, or how well you perform. Thats the way they run every pressroom they own in the country. This union is your only chance to hold onto what you have. You had better start acting like a single unit or they will eat you alive. They dont discriminate. There may be one or two of you that think you'll make it on your own but thate odds are against you. Please wake up.

Anonymous said...

Two tiered wages - oldies keep what they have, newbies start at 1/3 scale, two year package for those who wish to leave would be a good deal. Dump the suits who caused this in the 1st place.

Anonymous said...


What does IMPASSE and WORK RULES mean?

Do they mean keep what you have?

Good luck guys!

Lou Nicosia said...

The law requires that both sides have to bargain in good faith. If there is a stalemate it becomes an impasse. Then a company may impose work rules where they soley decide how you work. (The same as if you have no union and work as an at-will employee).I'm sure Sonny has enough experience and knowledge to keep bargaining and avoid an impasse. My guess is the company's tactics all along have been to divide and conquer and from what I've been reading here some outspoken individuals are biting.
Ask yourselves why the company would be willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to keep you from working with a contract that both side have to adhere to? Are they promising to do the right thing and take care of their employees and their families? They may say yes at first but when the crap starts flying and its you or them guess who goes first?
I have said many times a union employee does not have to be an adversary of the company they work for. Our livlihoods depend on the success of the company. A union gives you some say about things in the workplace, and a union makes sure you work where you get treated with respect and dignity.I have always said my main focus is on wages and working conditions, I will work whenever required without reservation.
I know this is long but the last thing I want to mention is; A stick by itself can be broken, but a handful cannot. Stay together, you've been through so much together over the years now is not the time to fall apart.

Anonymous said...

"The law requires that both sides have to bargain in good faith. If there is a stalemate it becomes an impasse. Then a company may impose work rules where they soley decide how you work."

So in other words we could lose everthing we have right now! Which could mean reduced wages, reduced hours/shifts, etc., etc.!

Not good! I guess the only recourse at that point would be to "STRIKE" if we don't like what is happening!

Who pays my wages then?

Anonymous said...

A strike wouldn't last long. Millions in revunue would be lost on a daily basis. Hang together, and hang tough.

Anonymous said...

That's what they said in Chicago!