Monday, September 29, 2008

Union Organizer Responds to Decertify Petition

Dear L.A. Times Pressroom Employees,

As you know, we have been in negotiations with the new ownership of the Times. Our goal of protecting you and your families’ interests during this transition has been a priority at the negotiating table.

Your elected bargaining team has performed with the utmost professionalism. They have presented some of the strongest arguments for a fair contract. They have kept very detailed notes and have helped gather important information for our work at the negotiating table. Your elected team is keeping all of you updated with information. For these reasons, I personally want to take a moment and thank them for their hard work standing up for all Times Pressroom employees and families.

As we all know, negotiations can be difficult, but we feel we are making progress. There have been times (usually just before the economic subjects of bargaining, such as raises, health and welfare issues etc) someone passes a petition to decertify the union.

This is usually an attempt to weaken our bargaining strength just before we talk about raises. This can and has in the past hurt employees’ opportunities to achieve a fair contract.

The people who pass these petitions usually have their own reasons, but generally do not understand the damage it can do to the other employees around them.

Signing a petition to decertify has serious legal ramifications such as withdrawing your rights to bargain and turning control over to the new ownership. This petition would allow the new owners to make unilateral changes in your working conditions without consulting with your elected bargaining team. Any changes could be made without your knowledge or input. This petition has serious legal impact on every pressroom employee, and before signing it you should call the National Labor Board to find out how this will affect your rights under the law.

We will continue our hard work at the negotiating table and will continue to keep you informed as to our progress.

Sincerely and Fraternally,

Marty Keegan

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