Vol XI, No. 4TNG/CWA Local 31041January 12, 2000

ProJo Arrogance Driving you Crazy?

Talk about petty!

Guild members could hardly believe their eyes when, right before Christmas, the company notified us that, while all other employees were getting free parking, we would not be.


It makes life miserable, expensive and dangerous for commuters, and for reporters and others who use their cars for work. As a protest, we are asking reporters and others who are not required to use their cars for work, (people who do not receive a weekly auto allowance) to NOT to use their cars. Instead:

Take a cab.

Take a walk.

Take a bus.

Rent a car.

Make a phone call.

If the company is arbitrarily making it hard on some workers to use their cars, those workers should not put the second most expensive item their families own at the disposal of the Providence Journal.

Yes, this may make it harder for us to do

What the company has done is this:

In supposedly instituting a system of free-parking, the company at the beginning of the year told the Guild that we should swallow its proposal whole, or be cut out from the free parking system.

It's not that the union hasn't been demanding free parking for years. But Guild negotiators found loopholes in the company's take-it-or-leave it approach: there was no guarantee that everybody would, in fact, get parking; there was no guarantee that the company wouldn't offer it one day, then take it back the next.

As the Guild sought to discuss these obvious and logical concerns, the company, in apparent spite, cut out the Guild altogether.

This affects people in different ways. Guild members who have always had company-paid parking, because they are required to use their cars, still get it. People who paid for monthly parking in company lots and the garage can still pay for it.

But people who had been frozen out of parking lots because there were not enough spaces -- or who chose not to pay for monthly parking -- are now on their own. They can't even use discount stickers the company had provided at the Parkade garage.

As a result of the company's vindictive and hammer-headed approach to negotiations, Guild members are being forced to pay for parking simply because we insist on exercising out guaranteed collective bargaining rights -- all at a time when the company has given no 2000 pay raise, and has unilaterally raised the cost of health care.

What this means is that the majority of news-gatherers -- the people who have to go out every day and interview people, cover meetings and other events, and bring back the news that we put in the paper -- must continue to pay for parking, while managers who sit at their desks all day can park for free.

Wait. It gets worse.

The advertising sales reps who bring in the money that pays us all have always been able to park in company lots -- as they certainly should be able to. They go out every day, in all kinds of weather, to serve their customers.

But since the company declared free parking for non-unionized employees, those people have apparently been filling up all the parking spaces in the convenient lots close to the newspaper -- leaving the advertising sales reps unable to find close-in places to park their cars.

On light days, it might not matter much. On busy days, when a sales rep is racing from place to place and making multiple trips between customers and the newspaper offices, it is starting to cost the company real money.

Reporters have grown used to the aggravating game of musical cars they must play in downtown, trying to find a legal parking space within a mile of the office so they can turn out stories on deadline.

Now advertising reps face the same quandary. A free parking spot isn't much good if some manager's car sits in it all day.

Wake up, management! You're losing money on this, and irritating loyal employees for no reason. Provide safe, adequate parking for us all, and come up with a system to save the close-in spots for those who need them.

Meanwhile, Guild members, don't reward the company's ugly and bullying tactics. Don't use your car.

Parking Refund Surveys

Under an arbitrator's award, you may be owed money y the Jounral if you you were unable to buy or use the daily parking coupons for the Parkage (Biltmore) garage. To submit a claim you need to complete a Guild survey form and return it to the Guild office. You can get a copy of the survey from Jeff Andrade (Advertising), Brian Jones (News) or at the Guild office.

Copyright © 2000 The Providence Newspaper Guild
TNG/CWA Local 31041
270 Westmister St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903
401-421-9466 | Fax: 401-421-9495