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Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Night in the Blogosphere


LAT Orange County Pressman Richard Satterlee

A History of Newsprint & Paper Manufacturing


Timber Makes Paper 1942 - A History of Newsprint & Paper Manufacturing in Australia.

This video was produced in 1942 and provides a summary of the Newspaper Manufacturing Process of this era, in Australia.

The Newsprint Mill (Boyer) is located on the Derwent River (Tasmania) and is still in operation as you watch this video, admittedly many of the manufacturing processes used in this video are now relevant to our modern society everything is running faster and more efficiently....

The technological demands as determined by the customers drive the need to produce more paper of greater quality while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Regardless of the industry, we are all responsible for the minimization of our carbon footprint and this company is committed to complying with all Legislative, social and community requirements / expectations as it has been for the past sixty or so years.

How do I know, well I work for the company.

The information contained within the video is specific to the way that it was done way back when.

The company was originally named Australian Newsprint Mills (ANM), then Fletcher Challenge and now it is currently owned by Norske Skog, a world leader in Newsprint manufacturer.











Sam Zell on Twitter


Everyone is getting on the Twitter band wagon, including Tribune Company CEO Sam Zell. Not really certain this is Sam's account, but what the hell, we can have a little fun pretending.

Ronnie Pineda President of GCC/IBT Local 140-N is pictured with Sam Zell at the right.

Below are random samples of the tweets from Sam Zell, you be the judge, is this really Sam?




  • Everybody says we ain't gonna make it.
  • I've been all around the country and all I keep discovering is new bullshit.
  • Everybody thinks the Internet is such hot shit.
  • I'm not a newspaper guy. I'm a businessman.So therefore all that matters in the end is the bottom line.
  • I have a lot of experience running and managing highly leveraged institutions. And I don't think this is any different.
  • I didn't get where I got today by losing.
  • Am I being too subtle? I mean I can talk slower if you want.
  • If you all lose your jobs, I’ll still be a billionaire.
  • ... The challenge is how do we get somebody 126 years old to get it up? Well, I’m your Viagra, OK?
  • I promise you I did not come here to be the captain of the Titanic.
  • I repeat: I do not believe that anybody can grow a business by reducing the number of employees.

Matt Welch on KFI 640 AM Radio at 5:00pm


Former Los Angeles Times Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Welch will be on the West Coast's premier talk radio outlet, KFI 640 AM, at 5 in the evening local time, to discuss California's silent big spenders, L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik's lousy math, and the ongoing scare campaign from the state's failed political class. You can listen live at this link.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Save Our Trade: Petition Dismissed


N.L.R.B. Regional Director Smalls has dismissed the petition for deauthorization. To view his complete decision, click here


Save Our Trade: Petition Dismissed

Golden Local: Tribune Vs. Sun-Times


The Golden Local has sparked spirited debates across the city, and now it's time to turn to the front pages of Chicago's papers.

Thursday Afternoon in the Blogosphere


Former Los Angeles Times Pressman Jonathan DeLeon

About Life

I received this from a friend and found it quite fitting and well worth sharing.

Everyone Can't Be In Your Front Row. Life is a theater - invite your audience carefully. Not everyone is spiritually healthy and mature enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you LET GO, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships, friendships, and fellowships!

Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention to: Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people, do you feel better of worse?

Which ones always have DRAMA or don't really understand, know and appreciate you and the gift that lies within you? When you seek growth, peace of mind, love and truth, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

You cannot change the people around you...but you can change the people you are around! Ask for divine wisdom and discernment and choose wisely the people who sit in the front row of your life.

Just because no one has shown up who can love you on your level, doesn't mean you sink to theirs!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon in the Blogosphere


LAT Pressmen Larry Washington, Frank Lind, and Tony Hill

Fearless: Our response to the Prop 8 ruling






Moments ago, the California Supreme Court announced its deeply disappointing decision to uphold Proposition 8.

While we are pleased that the court recognized the legal marriages of the 18,000 same-sex couples married in 2008, we are saddened by the Prop 8 decision.

But we don't have time to mourn the failure of the state court to restore marriage equality to California.

It's time to go on offense. To be fearless in our fight for equality. Starting right now:

Last week, we asked our members to vote on which year -- 2010 or 2012 -- the Courage Campaign should support going back to the ballot to restore marriage equality. Your collective response was overwhelming -- 82.5% support a 2010 ballot measure. As a result, the Courage Campaign is announcing today its strong support for a 2010 initiative, while respecting that partner organizations are still discussing and deliberating this very important question.

In response to the court's decision, the Courage Campaign will hit the California airwaves in the next 72 hours with a 60-second TV ad version of "Fidelity" -- the heartbreaking online video viewed by more than 1.2 million people, making it the most-watched video ever in the history of California politics.

We are launching this provocative new TV ad in the spirit of Harvey Milk's call to "come out, come out wherever you are" and proudly tell the stories of the people most affected by the passage of Prop 8 -- in moving images set to the beat of Regina Spektor's beautiful song.

Be fearless. Watch this 60-second "Fidelity" TV ad now and -- if you want more people to see it -- contribute $25, $50, $100, $250 (or as much as you can afford) to expand our ad buy immediately in Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco ASAP:

http://www.couragecampaign.org/Fearless

Did you cry when you saw the original 4-minute "Fidelity" video, inspired by pictures sent to us by our members? So did many of the people who watched the premiere of the TV ad version at recent Camp Courage training events in San Diego and Oakland, erupting in cheers and standing ovations, and spontaneously passing the hat to pay to put "Fidelity" on TV.

"Fidelity" is part of a larger strategy to build and empower a grassroots army of Courage Campaign Equality Teams across California. For three months now, 24 teams in 15 counties have been laying the foundation for the difficult battle ahead, knocking on doors in the heart of the Central Valley and coastal communities of California.

If you think "Fidelity" symbolizes the kind of fearless campaign you think should be waged to restore marriage equality, please contribute $25, $50, $100, $250 or more TODAY to put it on the air across California. We don't have much time, so please donate now:

Be fearless. We can't win without you.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign

P.S. Need to know now where the "Day of Decision" rally is tonight in your town? Our brilliant friends at CREDO Mobile have teamed up again with the Courage Campaign and Join the Impact to make it super-easy to get the info you need ASAP. Just text "RALLY" and your zip code (example: RALLY 94131) to 27336 and you will immediately receive a text message with the event closest to your neighborhood!

Courage Campaign Issues is part of the Courage Campaign's online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California.

To power our campaign for equality, please chip in what you can today:



Monday, May 25, 2009

Los Angeles Marathon


Running and completing a marathon is a feat all unto itself, yet many thousands were up early this morning to run in the twenty fourth running of the Los Angeles Marathon today.

Pictured at the left is Adam Banuelos after completing the L.A. Marathon in 4 hours 27 minutes and 57 seconds. Adam is the son of Los Angeles Times Pressman Victor Banuelos.

I called Linda Olmeda regarding Pressman Richard Olmeda's progress in the run but we played phone tag and missed one anothers calls. Richard called afterwards and shared that he hit the wall, and finishing the run was a most difficult task this year. As you recall Richard has run every Los Angeles Marathon since inception. Richard did complete the run in seven hours and thirty minutes and is most likely soaking in a hot tub of Epsom Salts at this moment.

Congratulations go out to Richard and Adam for completing the run this morning.

Memorial day 2009 in Luxembourg


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Save Our Trade: Union Security and Our Contract


By Ronnie Pineda

I just returned from the North American Newspaper Conference and was not surprised to here from the Union Delegates that represent employees at newspapers across the country deliver messages of dispair. There were reports of plant closures, wage and benefit concessions, furloughs and lay-offs to name a few.

I provided those that attended our meetings on Sunday May 15th with multiple articles highlighting examples I just described. I also attached the following letter to provide more information on the severance agreement and why the decision to withdraw our grievances and board charges was made. I decided to post the letter because I requested those members that attended share this information with everyone who still enjoys employment and some of the highest wages in the nation as a result of ratiying our contract. Read on.

Save Our Trade: Union Security and Our Contract

How Newspapers are Made


Interesting five minute video on the creation of a newspaper by a science club in Qatar.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Down BUT Not Out.....


After seven and a half years the hard drive in my Compaq desktop computer failed, so I have been forced to switch to another computer I had in storage. Regular posting to the blog will resume shortly.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday Night in the Blogosphere


I Attended John & Ken's "Head on a Stick" tax protest - Pictures here

Tribune Announces Executive Promotions


Tribune Announces Executive Promotions

Gable, Eldersveld, Kazan, Sachs and Casanova Get New Titles

CHICAGO, May 19 -- Tribune Company today announced that its Board of Directors has approved the promotions of several key executives within the company effective immediately.

  • Steve Gable becomes EVP/Chief Technology Officer;
  • David Eldersveld is promoted to SVP/Deputy Counsel & Corporate Secretary;
  • Dan Kazan is elevated to SVP/Development, and;
  • Naomi Sachs becomes SVP/Strategy.

"Steve, Dave, Dan and Naomi are important players within the company and are an important part of Tribune's leadership team of the future," said Gerry Spector, Tribune EVP/Chief Administration Officer. "They are team players and are helping to drive essential change throughout Tribune -- change that makes us more innovative, more responsive to our customers and more efficient."

Gable has served as SVP/Chief Technology Officer since joining Tribune last year and is responsible for overseeing all of the company's technology efforts. Gable has led a complete reorganization of Tribune's technology systems and personnel, helping the company realize significant expense savings.

Eldersveld was promoted to VP/Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Secretary last year, after serving as Tribune's senior counsel/mergers and acquisitions since 2005. Kazan, who joined Tribune in 1998 as counsel for mergers and acquisitions, was named VP/Development in 2005. Sachs served as director of investments in Tribune's finance department beginning in 2005 and was promoted to VP/Strategy last year. All three are deeply involved in the company's restructuring process.

"It's impossible to over-emphasize the hard work and long hours that Dave, Dan and Naomi have put in since our Chapter 11 filing in December," said Don Liebentritt, Tribune's EVP/General Counsel. "They are strategic thinkers who are talented, creative, and thoroughly dedicated to the long-term success of Tribune."

Tribune's publishing division also announced the promotion of Vince Casanova to SVP/Circulation, effective immediately. Casanova has served as VP/Circulation since 2005, and has overseen a number of innovative printing and production changes at the company's newspapers that have increased efficiency, expanded capacity and generated significant new revenue.

TRIBUNE is America's largest employee-owned media company, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. In publishing, Tribune's leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel (South Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Morning Call and Daily Press. The company's broadcasting group operates 23 television stations, WGN America on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience. At Tribune we take what we do seriously and with a great deal of pride. We also value the creative spirit and nurture a corporate culture that doesn't take itself too seriously.

SOURCE Tribune Company

Communicating with your Union


In an attempt to increase communications within the workforce Michael Brierley has created an email account for question submission. Your entire e-board has access to the email account to answer your questions in a timely manner, Michael logs on several times per day.

Submit your questions here: local140n@yahoo.com

Thank you Michael.

New Blog for Former Tribune Employees


Here at the Los Angeles Times many colleagues form lasting relationships with one another, and get together for brunches and dinners. The Pressmen gather twice a year for dinner with former and current co-workers, former Times truck drivers get together monthly with a big bash at the end of the year, the Times writers mingle together with their club called The Old Farts as well, and former Los Angeles Times composing room employees enjoy lunches together.

Makes sense a former Tribune Company employee created a blog where all Tribune Alumni could meet and exchange ideas, as many people enjoy continued relationships with former colleagues.

Tribune Alumni is still rather new but many have already registered and uploaded photographs of them from across the country.

h/t Kevin Roderick

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Night in the Blogosphere


Pressmen Marcos Rodriguez and Ed Brunner

Did You Vote Today?


Apparently many Californian’s felt the propositions in today’ statewide special election were unimportant, from the lack of traffic at all precincts throughout the state. Appears the only proposition with a chance of passing will be 1F, with results running fairly close at the moment.

John and Ken of Radio Station KFI 640 AM have a poll on how citizens voted with 90.10% voting no on all measures, 2.54% voting yes on all, and 7.37% voting yes on some. Visit their website and take the poll yourself by clicking here.

Los Angeles Times "New Commitment"


TV Commerrcials for Los Angeles Times. Subscribe by calling 1.800.LA.TIMES or clicking here --> Subscribe





Sunday, May 17, 2009

Silent No More

I came across this letter as I was reading an article in Newsday.

Interesting.


An Open Letter to Fr. John Jenkins President University of Notre Dame

Dear Fr. Jenkins,

We are writing this letter to you in hopes that you can clear something up for us.

We are two Catholic women who reside in the State of Colorado. We made tragic mistakes in our younger years by having abortions. We came to the University of Notre Dame last Friday, May 8, to witness to the harm caused to us by our “choice.” We held signs that say "I Regret My Abortion". We also gave our testimonies and prayed the Rosary with other Catholics who supported us.

We did this in hopes of saving young women years of pain, shame and guilt. We did this because college aged women have the most abortions. We did this because we wanted these young women to know that women deserve better than abortion and that women can achieve the things that they want without having their babies killed. We did this because we believe in the fundamental right to life of all human beings who are created in the image and likeness of God which is a dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church.

We have both attended Project Rachel and Rachel’s Vineyard retreats – both Catholic healing programs for those suffering from abortion. We then joined "The Silent No More Awareness campaign", a program sponsored by a Catholic Priest – Fr. Frank Pavone.

In all of these programs we were taught about the acceptance and mercy of God and our fellow Catholics. Also, in these programs we were encouraged to seek the counsel of a Catholic Priest – that they would help us to find redemption in the sacrament of reconciliation. We were also encouraged to share our stories so that the Catholic community and the greater community at large could hear first hand of the devastating effects of abortion.

While speaking these truths on Friday we were issued a Trespass Notice by security officers hired by the University that in part states “The University has the right to tell us that we are not wanted on University property.”

Imagine our shock after receiving this notice and being barred from speaking further, we were arrested and thrown in jail. We spent the day in a holding cell until we posted a $250 bond. As we now understand things, we are awaiting news as to whether the charges against us will be misdemeanor trespassing or a felony. This happened all because we wanted the students to know through our stories how devastating abortion is to women.

We are confused, Fr. Jenkins. Why would a Catholic University bar Catholic women from speaking the truth about a fundamental Catholic teaching, under the signage of a healing program that is sponsored by a Catholic priest, while praying the Rosary? Yet, the University would welcome, honor and have a person speak at Commencement who is virulently opposed to this same fundamental Catholic teaching?

Fr. Jenkins can you please explain this to us?

We look forward to your response.

Jane Brennan, MS Laura Rohling Centennial, CO

Friday, May 15, 2009

Citizen Kane - How to Run a Newspaper


"You're right, I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... 60 years."

Friday Night in the Blogosphere


The Blogging Pressman meets the Godfather of Blogging Marc Cooper


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pay cut for Post-Dispatch non-union employees


Memo to St. Louis Post-Dispatch employees

From: STL PD Comm
Sent: Thu 5/7/2009 1:47 PM
To: STL All Local Users
Subject: Announcement

Dear Colleagues,

While we remain the leader in providing the best and most comprehensive local news, information and advertising in our region, the national recession continues to negatively impact our revenue and makes it necessary to further reduce expenses.

For that reason, all non-represented employees will take a temporary pay reduction equivalent to one week of their current annual base pay. It will be deducted over the remaining payroll periods between June and September 27. In return, each employee will be granted five additional days off to be used between June and September 27. The days may be taken off incrementally throughout these months with the approval of the employee's supervisor. Please see your immediate supervisor or Astrid Garcia in Human Resources with any questions.

I deeply regret the need to take this action and understand the burden you take as a result. I am confident that we will come out of this downturn strong.

Kevin Mowbray

SOURCE: Romenesko

Wednesday Morning in the Blogosphere


Former LA Weekly staffer Susan Uhrlass with Joseph Mailander

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

LAT Bill Plaschke on Manny Ramirez


The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke gives his take on Dodgers' Manny Ramirez's failed drug test that resulted in a 50-game suspension.

Tribune Company to pay Bonuses


Tribune news via Twitter:

FOX40 FOX40 NEWS ALERT: Judge approves Tribune Company's motion to pay out bonuses to employees during bankruptcy proceedings.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Afternoon in the Blogosphere


Tina Dupuy meets Brian Quintana at LA Monthly Party

Increase in Postal Rates


United States consumers just can’t seem to get a break as postage rates were increased again today. Don’t forget to add 2 cents to your postage as a first class letter was increased to 44 cents from 42 cents. Post cards also went up 1 cent from 27 cents to 28 cents today.

With credit card companies charging anywhere from $35.00 to 3% of balance as a late penalty, lets hope this information prevents a consumer from wasting money on a late fee due to a 2 cent postal increase.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Union Meetings Rescheduled




GENERAL MEETINGS
SUNDAY MAY 17, 2009


ORANGE COUNTY:
11:00 AM
Round Table Pizza
11095 Warner Ave
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
------------------------------------
LOS ANGELES:
3:00 PM
Shakey’s Pizza
2023 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Stop listening to the rumors,
COME AND GET THE FACTS!



Save Our Trade Blog

Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Night in the Blogosphere


Chicago Tribune's Blogger Icon Colonel Tribune

General Union Meetings







GENERAL MEETINGS
MONDAY MAY 11, 2009


ORANGE COUNTY:
12:00 PM
Round Table Pizza
11095 Warner Ave
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
------------------------------------
LOS ANGELES:
4:00 PM
Shakey’s Pizza
2023 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Stop listening to the rumors,
COME AND GET THE FACTS!



Save Our Trade Blog

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thursday Afternoon in the Blogosphere


Los Angeles Times Mailers Mauricio Flores and Alex Dominguez

A Cause for Comedy - Tonight


Ben Morrison and Causecast Present A Cause for Comedy to Benefit Project Angel Food:May 7th @ The Hollywood Improv

As the old saying goes, "Laughter is the best medicine."

To aid that effort, Causecast is proud to present A Cause for Comedy where proceeds benefit a different charity each month. This month we'll be raising money for Project Angel Food - an excellent organization that provides daily meals and comfort for people homebound or disabled by HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses in the Los Angeles area.

A Cause for Comedy is hosted by the very funny Ben Morrison (Punk'd). The night will also feature sets by Ahmed Ahmed (Vice Vaugn's Wild West Comedy Tour), Bret Ernst (Weeds), Iliza Shlesinger (Last Comic Standing) and Kate Micucci (Scrubs). This lineup will definitely leave you laughing and for a great cause at that. We hope to see you there!

Buy your tickets online now before they sell out for $10, $20 or $50 and/or you can get them at the door! Since proceeds benefit Project Angel Food, we've decided to leave it up to you to choose how much you wanted to give.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday for a great evening of laughter, fun and philanthropy!

If you don't live in Los Angeles, we've got you covered. You can watch the entire show broadcast LIVE from the Improv at A CauseForComedy.com. There is no charge to watch the live-stream. We only ask that if you laugh once or twice, that you make a donation to Project Angel Food. Karma is as easy as that.

FOR TICKETS / INFO / DONATIONS and LIVESTREAM please visit our official site @ http://www.ACauseForComedy.com

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Could Kindle DX Replace Newspapers One Day Soon?


Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device



Kindle DX Features
Advanced Design
Sleek & Trim

Kindle DX is as thin as most magazines. Just over a third of an inch in profile, you'll find Kindle DX fits perfectly in your hands.

Beautiful Large Display

Kindle DX's large display is ideal for a broad range of reading material, including graphic-rich books, PDFs, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Kindle DX's display is two and a half times the size of the Kindle display. Whether you're reading the latest bestseller or a financial report, text and images are amazingly sharp on the 9.7" screen.

Auto-Rotating Screen

By simply turning the device, you can immediately see full-width landscape views of maps, graphs, tables and Web pages.

Built-In PDF Reader

Unload the loose documents from your briefcase or backpack, and put them all on Kindle DX. From neighborhood newsletters to financial statements to case studies and product manuals--you can take them all with you on Kindle DX. Native PDF support allows you to carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go. With Amazon's Whispernet service, you can send your documents directly to your Kindle DX and read them anytime, anywhere.

5-Way Controller

Kindle DX has an easy-to-use 5-way controller, enabling precise on-screen navigation for selecting text to highlight or looking up words.

Simple to Use, No Computer Required

Kindle DX is completely wireless and ready to use right out of the box--no setup, no cables, no computer required.

Save Our Trade: Severance for 63 Laid Off Pressroom Employees


By Ronnie Pineda

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

The union and the company met yesterday to discuss severance for the recently laid off workers. The union accepted an enhanced version of the company’s last proposal offered in February.

Our decision to accept will undoubtedly draw fire from some people, but it was obviously the right thing to do based on the 63 workers who were laid off receiving nothing in the form of severance or consideration for years of service with the company. Therefore, the union and the company agreed to the following:

The 63 employees who were laid off will receive up to 12 weeks of severance pay with recall rights as outlined under the contract; the company did not agree to any benefit continuation.

In return the union agreed to withdraw all pending grievances and 4 of the 5 pending Unfair Labor Practice charges.

Again, we realize this will bring out some critics of the union, but we felt this was the right thing to do at this time, and to the critics of the union, you should consider this, did the company do the right thing by not agreeing to treat its union and non-union employees equally?

Fraternally,
Ronnie Pineda

Save Our Trade: Severance for 63 Laid Off Pressroom Employees

Wednesday Morning in the Blogosphere


Spent newsprint cores to be recycled

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Terminix is Hiring


Former Pressroom Supervisor at the Los Angeles Times Owen Brennan sent this employment offer over in hopes of helping anyone in need. We would like to give a hat tip to Mr. Brennan for aiding his fellow man in these most difficult of times.



Ed,

Please post that Terminix is hiring Outside Salespeople for the Glendale branch. They will be inspecting houses for termites, and will need to go to school (paid by Terminix) and get licensed by the state pest control board before they can sell services. There is a potential to make decent money in this position. If anyone is interested they can contact me at owenbrennan@socal.rr.com.

Owen

Monday, May 04, 2009

Tribune Company and Retirement Checks


Retired Los Angeles Times Pressroom Supervisor Don Stevens writes:

I haven't received my retirement check this month. Have any of you guys
experienced this also?. I contacted Cityside FCU,as I have direct deposit with them. I asked them about it and their response was:


* * *
5/4/2009 12:22pm
MESSAGE: Sorry for the inconvenience but it seems that most of the retirement pension plans have been delayed. Contact your Pension Benefit Office for more details. We hope that your pension will post soon..

Angie
Member Services Representative.

Save Our Trade: InterLocal Pension Information


By Ronnie Pineda

GCC/IBT Interlocal Pension Fund Chairman, John Agenbroad visited on April 17th in Commerce to provide information on the pension fund and answer questions regarding the fund.

This pension is the only 501 C18 in the country. It was founded in 1950 and the fund is overseen by union trustees , NO company trustees. There is in fact absolutely no involvement by the company in any way with regards to the fund, its investments or the administration of the fund.

The Fund's assets were reported in 2007 of the 57th Annual Report of The Trustees to be approximately 1.8 Billion dollars. John stated the current assets are reported to be 1.4 billion dollars. The administration fees are a mere 4% which is unbelievable for a fund with the assets that are in the ILPF.

Full retirement benefits at age 65. Of course early retirement is possible with the normal percentage of reduced benefits based on years retired prior to 65th birthday and length of participation in the fund.

The fund also contains a Disability Benefit once your account reaches a balance of $1500.00, everyone qualifies regardless of age.

The plan uses a unit based scale, 1 unit equaling $260.00. Once your account reaches a balance of $260.00, you are 100% vested. Monthly contributions are made on an after tax basis and contributions can be deffered when filing your income taxes. All members equally contribute an agreed monthly percentage of their gross monthly income. It also allows you to automatically contribute more when overtime is worked. There is currently a $7000.00 annual limit which the Teamsters are currently lobbying to increase to the same $16,500.00 limit applied to 401k's. We are told this may occur soon which will allow our members to increase their annual retirement investments.

The plan invests in equity funds, domestic and international that are screened through the AFL-CIO to insure there are no labor issues with the countries, companies or businesses that receive our union investments. The Fund will not invest in oppressed countries and never has, nor will it ever invest in hedge funds.

There has been 11 increases in benefits in a thirty year period with only 1 decrease over the same period. How many times have we had our benefits reduced until now that they're completely gone. Companies have abandoned their responsibility to provide retirement dollars to their long term valued employees, its now up to you to take care of your retirement investments.

There is also portability with the fund for up to two years if leaving the company. You may continue to contribute for up to two years at which time you may continue to participate in the fund if you remain in the printing industry, regardless of the new employer or whether employment is under union contract.

These are some of the main highlights of the Interlocal Pension Fund based on Chairman Agenbroad's presentation and questions asked by the members who actually took the time to attend this very important meeting. I was disappointed that Chairman Agenbroad, who also happens to be Mayor of Springboro, Ohio, took time from his busy schedule to come and meet all of you and bring such valuable information for your retirement future and there were an abundance of empty chairs.

With all the bullshit that has resulted as a result of ratifying the contract, the economy and the health of the newspaper industry, the ability to invest in the Interlocal Pension Fund will certainly make up for loss of the inferior retirement vehicles provided by the company.

Literature can be obtained from Keith Denson in Los Angeles or Charlie Laird in Orange County.The literature they possess are the Summary Plan Description and Trustee Indenture, The 57th Annual Report of the Trustees, an informative fund overview pamphlet and the Table of Benefits based on number of units.

I challenge everyone to take these documents to their financial consultants and/or tax preparers for their professional opinion of the information contained therein and whether they believe there is a comparable plan that you can invest in. I hope at least some of you accept this challenge and report your findings to Keith or myself to publish here. Don't you think you should at least investigate this plan and whether or not you can better invest your retirement savings elsewhere?

Chairman Agenbroad is willing to return and answer your questions and provide answers if any of you are interested and aren't too busy to be concerned about your retirement because you're all so freaking young. I will only ask him to return if commitments to attend are received.

We need to vote on participating in this fund so I suggest everyone get the necessary information literature from Keith, Charlie or myself and at least take advantage of one of the benefits of organizing that mangement can't screw with. Take responsibility for the future.

For more information visit the ILPF website at http://www.ilpfcgiu.org/ or e-mail info@ilpfgciu.org For immediate answers, or literature, call (630) 752-8400

Save Our Trade: InterLocal Pension Information

May 4, 1970 Kent State Shootings


Kent State University shootings in May of 1970 during the Vietnam War.

Monday Afternoon in the Blogosphere


Pressman Bill Conover just returned from Cancun, Mexico, yet his colleagues are not concerned the least bit!


Boston Globe will not be shuttered


Today, The New York Times Company released the following statement regarding recent negotiations with unions representing employees of The Boston Globe:

“We are very pleased to have reached agreements with six of the seven unions that were involved in recent negotiations. This includes agreements with the drivers, mailers, pressmen, the electricians, machinists, and technical services group. As a result of these agreements, which are subject to ratification by union members, we expect to achieve both the workplace flexibility and the financial savings that we sought from these unions. We are not, therefore, making a filing today under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. We appreciate the productive and cooperative approach demonstrated by the leadership of these unions throughout these difficult negotiations.

“We are disappointed, however, that we have not yet been able to reach an agreement with the Guild. Because of that, we are evaluating our alternatives under both the Guild contract and applicable law to achieve as quickly as possible the workplace flexibility and remaining cost savings we need to help put The Globe on a sound financial footing.”

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this statement are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include national and local conditions, as well as competition, that could influence the levels (rate and volume) of retail, national and classified advertising and circulation generated by our various markets and material increases in newsprint prices. They also include other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's publicly filed documents, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 28, 2008. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Afternoon in the Blogosphere


Gary Connaught, John Kerns, and Tony Ramirez at Pressmen's Dinner

Morning Call publisher's memo


5/1/2009 4:24:06 PM

Memo to Morning Call employees

A Message from the Publisher

Dear Colleagues,

I want to update you about changes we plan to make to the newspaper starting next week and actions we are pursuing to reduce costs further. As we have discussed repeatedly over the past few years, the traditional newspaper business model is broken and we fight hard every day to build the foundation for a new one. It is painfully ironic that our audience reach has grown and has never been stronger while our financial results continue to worsen. As you know from our company communications, our advertising revenues decreased 27% and operating profit decreased substantially for the first quarter of this year. We must take action and reduce costs now in order to maintain other investments that position us for future growth. Here are the details as they stand today.

Newspaper Format and Design
As with all of our content changes, the readers’ needs remain our true north. As we reduce overall resources and shift ever more focus to our digital platform, we must find new ways to highlight our differentiated local content and create efficiencies throughout the process. On Tuesday May 5th, we will debut a new format that is easier to read and improves reader navigation. Prototypes will be available and posted around the building over the weekend. To be clear, while the need to reduce labor and newsprint was the motivation behind this effort, the newsroom leadership has responded with a streamlined, visually appealing and comprehensive new format. Importantly, we launch new content with these changes including new interactive reader features, one being kicked off by “Marley and Me” author and Coopersburg resident John Grogan.

For more details on the changes, including significant advances in our approach to build a Web-first newsroom, I invite you to visit Dave Erdman’s blog at http://opus/blog/.

With this new format, you will notice other changes. The first section will now include all news – local, state, national/world and business. We also introduce standard modular advertising units. This approach should allow us to more dynamically price (up and down) for ads which will yield more revenue. And we should see some efficiency gains in layout and design.

Costs Reductions
With the actions we are taking now, we plan to reduce our annual costs by $3-4 million. These reductions will come principally from compensation and newsprint. Over the next few days we will eliminate over 70 positions. While some of these positions are open, we are offering severance and saying goodbye to about 50 current friends and colleagues. This is painful. Our intent is to contact all affected employees by the end of the day on Saturday. We will try to treat everyone with dignity and respect. At my town hall meetings the issue of furloughs has come up repeatedly. At this time, we do not plan to institute any mandatory furloughs.

In addition to these workforce reductions, we are reducing discretionary spending across all departments.

In closing, it is fair to ask: Are we any closer to our vision? We entered this period of industry transformation and severe economic decline from a position of strength. Today our audience reach is unrivaled. Our newsgathering force is the largest in the Lehigh Valley. We are faster and innovate more today then yesterday. And you remain dedicated and do amazing work, every day. I remain confident in our One Team vision and your determination to build a thriving Morning Call. We will conduct town hall meetings next week to discuss our near term strategies moving forward.

As always, I thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Regards,
Tim

SOURCE: Poynter Online