Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Save Our Trade: The Axe Will Swing 63 Times

By Ronnie Pineda
President GCC/IBT - Local 140-N
Los Angeles Times

Todays news was far worse than expected when we learned that 63 pressroom jobs are being eliminated from our shops in accordance with management's cost reduction plan. In less than a year, that amounts to just under 100 jobs lost in our pressrooms alone. The total savings for the company from the pressrooms will be close to 4 million dollars a year! Close to 6 million a year when you include the last round of cuts less than a year ago!

Management has no interest in discussing any alternative measures to reduce costs which could save jobs in the pressrooms and bases the cuts on the economy, the overall newspaper industry decline and the restructuring and new design of the future paper.

These cuts will result in the elimination of 10 press crews in one fell swoop. There will be reductions in the roller crew size, reelroom co-ordinator and trainer positions in managements plans as well. According to Russ, these positions at each plant will consist of, 4 roller crew positions, 3 coordinator positions and 2 trainers, again, per plant.

These layoffs are scheduled to take place on March 4, 2009 not March 15 as mentioned in Russ' letter in which he states "no later than March 15th"

Management gave the bargaining committee copies of the production schedules they intend to implement after March 4th. and expect to begin picking crews based on the provided schedule. We did not receive actual crew schedules at this time.The crew picking process will remain as it has always been conducted and was confirmed by Russ when asked.

We will meet again tomorrow at noon to discuss severance, and what the company intends to fashion for our shops. We again believe that any less than what is given to non-union employees would be unfair.

Save Our Trade: The Axe Will Swing 63 Times

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