Vol XI, No. 14TNG/CWA Local 31041January 31, 2000

Discuss details of the company's contract offer.
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 2
Times: 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Place: Guild office 270 Westminster St., Providence

Secret paper ballots to be cast at the Guild office:
* Wednesday, Feb. 2, 12:30 to 7:30 p.m.
* Thursday, Feb. 3, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Absentee ballots on request: call Tim Schick, Guild administrator, 421-9466

Cafeteria Chats Set for Monday and Tuesday

Information from Guild leaders about Wednesday's and Thursday's voting

Do you have questions about the up-coming vote on the company's proposed contract and about negotiations in general?

The Guild will have representatives in The Journal Building cafeteria during the lunch hour Monday, Jan. 31 and Tuesday, Feb. 1, to talk to union members about the issues. The times will be from 12:15 to 1 p.m. each day.

Just come and chat during your lunch hour or during a break.

Guild leaders will explain the contract issues - from pay, to health insurance, pensions, parking and problems in the troubled pre-publishing department.

Also, they can answer any questions you may have about the secret ballot vote that will be held Feb. 2 & 3, and the union's overall contract aims.

There will be further chances to air your views and hear those of others at two membership meetings on Wednesday, Feb 2, at the Guild office, with the first session at 12:30 p.m. and the second at 5 p.m.

We also encourage every Guild member to seek out Guild leaders, as time allows this week.

Here's a partial list:

In addition, there are members of the negotiating committee who are familiar with the issues: Ged Carbone, newsroom; Lee Waterbury, advertising; Lisa Helwig, research; and Del St. Jean, advertising.

The Guild's Unit Council includes Brian Jones, Jody McPhillips, Karen Senerchia, Susan Quackenbush, Lisa Helwig, Sheila Lennon and Carol Lancelotti.

During the past several weeks, the Guild has published a number of Guild Leader newsletters about the issues. These are posted on the Guild bulletin boards in the newsroom and elsewhere. They also are available on the union's website: www.riguild.org.


The Guild Leader is seeking your opinions about the company's contract offer, which will go to a secret ballot vote Feb. 2 & 3. Send to Brian Jones, newsroom, or e-mail them to brijudy@ids.net.

Ged Carbone, Newsroom
I'm voting no because the company's offer says that a reporter in Dallas deserves more benefits than a reporter in Providence; a copy editor in Kentucky has a greater value than a copy editor in Rhode Island; a cleaner in California is more deserving than a cleaner on Fountain Street. I'm voting no because the company's offer treats Rhode Island workers as unwanted stepchildren of the Belo family.

I'm voting no because the company's offer puts us in the perverse position of rooting against the stock of the company for which we work. If we are denied participation in the company's 401(k) plan, then it is only human nature to be envious if the Belo stock in that plan is high, and to gloat if that stock is low. That's no way to work, with bitterness; that's no way to live.

I'm voting no as a vote of no confidence in management that has killed our circulation, botched the transfer of our health plans, and made a mess out what could have been a peaceful round of negotiations.

Many of the members of our management team are new, and maybe they need some time to grow into their jobs. But as of right now I have no confidence in their ability to run the non-news operations of this newspaper; I have no confidence in their ability to bring these negotiations to a successful close. That's why I'm voting no; that's why I urge all of us to vote no, to tell Dallas that Rhode Island workers are second to none.

A Fellow Employee
I am a fulltime employee whose schedule is flexible, and when I reported to work today (Jan. 26) I was unable to park in any of the parking garages. I could not even park on the street, which would have cost $10 for a parking ticket. (This is) because the company does not offer discounted tickets to full or part time employees. When the company did offer discounted tickets, I was able to park in the Journal garage, not matter what time I was scheduled to work. I am very upset over this situation, and can't believe the company is being so unfair about not offering guaranteed parking for their full and part time employees. Please vote ``NO.''

A longtime Guild member
It is my moral responsibility to vote "no" on this contract proposal. I have worked here a very long time. The grass may seem greener on the other side right now, but I know this company only pays its nonunion employees well because they fear others will join the union. I have to stay loyal to the union.

I hope that the Newsroom unites with other union members. As the saying goes, ``united we stand, divided we fall.'' Also, I know for a fact that on Jan. 1 a nonunion employee received better than the 3 percent increase offered to the Guild. This nonunion employee also hopes that a free parking commitment and a better pension plan and health benefits are negotiated, because that means nonunion employees will enjoy better benefits as well. The company wants to keep its nonunion employees happy. (My objections include):

1. Offering "free parking" that can be withdrawn on a whim.
2. Inferior health benefits.
3. Inferior pension plan.
4. Withdrawal of all grievances.
5. Use of temporary employees.
Also, putting into effect changes without bargaining the issues is NOT GOOD FAITH BARGAINING. The company should be ashamed. Join me in voting "NO."

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