GUILD SPONSORS ITS FIRST UNITED WAY CAMPAIGN
Guild members who want to give to charity this year, but who dont want to participate in the companys campaign, can now donate to the United Way of Southeastern New England through a Guild-sponsored campaign.
The Guild last week completed arrangements with United Way to provide donor forms, which the Guild will distribute both in person and through the mail. For the first time, the Guild will receive recognition for its members donations.
The fund-raising campaign was organized after Guild members voted not to participate in the Journals United Way fund-raiser to protest the companys assault on our union.
That decision originated, not with the leadership, but with a spontaneous motion from a member. It was overwhelmingly approved. At a time when the company has declared war on us, when we havent seen a raise in nearly two years despite soaring profits, we simply dont want the Journal using our generosity to polish its phony image.
But members were concerned that the United Way and its worthy member agencies would suffer because of our conflict with the Journal. So we decided to set up a method by which members would be encouraged to give through the Guild.
The United Way was initially reluctant to help us with this. (Journal publisher Howard Sutton is a member of their board.) But after the leadership of the states AFL-CIO intervened, the United Way met with us last Thursday to work out a plan.
The AFL-CIOs assistance is a reminder that we are not alone in our struggle and can count on this powerful organization as we move ahead.
We were also pleased to learn that the United Way has a longstanding partnership with the AFL-CIO in which organized labor has a role in decision-making and the United Way assists out-of-work, retired and needy union members.
If you have already returned the companys United Way form, please ask for it back. You have the absolute right to cancel that donation at any time. Year after year, the company brass get honors and awards for the success of such charitable efforts, when its our money thats making them look good.
Guild members are, of course, free to donate however they please. The vote specifically left it open for them to give on their own, or to donate through the Guild.
Members can continue giving through the company. But a good showing in a Guild-run campaign will make it clear how significant our contributions have been. And if successful, the Guilds United Way campaign may continue in future years.
The United Way will accept your contributions in three ways: it will bill you regularly; it will accept lump-sum donations; and it will collect through credit card deductions.
Thursday, Leadership Rhode Island, a statewide education group, gathered at the Johnson & Wales Inn on Route 44 in Seekonk, Mass. to give Sutton its David E. Sweet Leadership Award.
About 10 Journal employees gathered in the parking lot to hand out leaflets, which questioned the wisdom of honoring someone who has shown himself to be a union-buster.
It noted the companys refusal to negotiate a pay increase, the cut in worker pay by taking away a paid holiday and the imposition of an inferior medical plan.
In addition, the company has illegally halted dues collection in a failed attempt to bankrupt the union.
Sutton ducked into the Johnson and Wales building before Guild members arrived. And when they did, they were met by three or four Johnson & Wales security people, backed by a Seekonk police officer.
The workers were questioned as to their intentions, and when they responded that they were there to educate the people gathering as to Sutton's true nature, they were told that they had to get off the property.
The Guild members moved to the shoulder of Route 44 at the Inn's entrance and unfurled their banner, "PRO JO - PROFIT OVER PEOPLE." They also handed out leaflets to people in cars arriving for the luncheon.
Shortly thereafter, several more cars of Seekonk police arrived and cautioned Guild members to not block motorists' view of traffic. The banner was moved back and the leaflets, citing Sutton's union busting activities, his Scrooge-like treatment of workers and his papers union-news censorship, were still distributed.
For the full text of the "This Is Leadership?" leaflet, see the Guild's Web site: www.riguild.org/leadership.htm.
Its a listserv that allows us to talk about union issues by exchanging e-mail that can be read by all participating union members and by no one else.
It was set up as email@example.com to allow those of us involved in planning the Journal boycott to communicate among ourselves. But we welcome the involvement of all Guild members who want to resist Belo's campaign to break our union.
When somebody sends an e-mail, everyone sees it. Those who wish to chime in send a reply, and thats seen by the whole group as well. Its great for people who work in different departments, shifts and offices.
The listserv is unmoderated. That means no one will censor you or screen your e-mail in any way before it's sent to all members of the group.
All you need is a private, after-hours account with an Internet provider, because we are not subscribing members with projo.com addresses.
You can join the list simply to read what is being said, and keep yourself informed. But we'd much rather have you jump in with your ideas and comments whenever you see a thread that interests you.
One caution: even though this is a closed network, assume that anything you say can get out to the public or back to the company. Nothing done on a computer is ever truly private: printouts can be made, messages can be copied and forwarded.
Incidentally, the boycott listserv is turning out to be a great venue for discussing other issues at the Journal, and journalism in general. We welcome anyone who has given up on CRITQ, a management-sponsored "forum" that reeks of the company's top-down view of the world.
Once we have a new
contract, we may want to keep the listserv on-line as a place to discuss
our craft and our newspaper. We could open it to community leaders, college
journalism professors, applicants for internships and permanent jobs,
and broadcast reporters who want to cover the Journal.
TNG/CWA Local 31041
270 Westmister St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903
401-421-9466 | Fax: 401-421-9495