Friday, April 29, 2011

Should Employees trust in the Tribune Company?

From: Louis Nicosia
GCC-IBT Local 406

To Our Brothers and Sisters at the L.A. Times,

People do not realize the importance of belonging to a union especially in today’s economic and social climate. Think about the early part of the 20th century before there were unions. People worked ten or twelve hour workdays, sweatshops, child labor, no health insurance, no pensions or workmen’s compensation. Unions fought hard for these things and more importantly a decent wage. In essence, unions created the middle class. We now take all these things for granted. What came from that was companies were almost forced to give the same benefits to non-union people and/or to keep people from joining the unions. Somewhere along the line people forgot how they got these benefits and believe that companies don’t mind paying these benefits. That’s kind of na├»ve, don’t you think?

We are all aware of the nature of our business. Like many locals across the country, we went through a negotiation that was concessionary. They came to the negotiating table seeking 10% and 15% pay cuts, changes in our seniority, weeks of vacation time, increases in health insurance, and other items that had to do with working conditions. We stood together. We also used Teamster resources that included George Tedeschi and economist Jim Kimball. The Company did not get what they wanted. We know without a collective bargaining agreement in place they could have just implemented their proposals. We did lose 5% of our pay and our drivers lost 10%. Although everyone here was unhappy, I can tell you not one person that I know would put their trust in the Company rather than the union. The company I work for is Cablevision and they make hundreds of millions of dollars a year in profit, and they still wanted more. To put trust in the Tribune Company while they are in bankruptcy would be insane. They will gut you within months, and find another way to dole out those bonuses to the people in their club. I remember better days. Times Mirror was my best employer too, but those days are never coming back.

I urge you as one working man to another stay together and weather the bad times. You have a voice in your workplace that will be gone. To break and run now because change isn’t happening fast enough would be a mistake. I think of the old story; one stick in your hand could be broken easily but a dozen can’t. There really is strength in unity.

Yours in Solidarity,
Lou Nicosia


Rudy h said...

The Man makes sense

$.02 said...

Here, here Lou!

Remember, "You guys make too much." Directly attributable to the Newton in 2005, Oly Pressroom outside the ink room during a tour of the plant.

First things first-- reduction in pay.

Then all the rest...