ABOUT THE GUILD
E-MAIL THE GUILD
|Vol XI, No. 74
||TNG/CWA Local 31041
||Dec. 6, 2000
DEC. 12 AGAINST PROJO HEARTLESSNESS
ASK THE GUILD
settle some pending issues?'
you have questions about negotiations, Guild policy, medical benefits,
or anything else involving the union and our effort to get a new
contract? Please contact Brian Jones, other members of the executive
board, or Tim Schick, the Guild administrator. You also can e-mail
them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will do our best to answer them in upcoming Guild Leaders.
and answer are based on an exchange last weekend over the union's
"listserv," a network that allows e-mail discussion via
the Internet. If you have a home computer and would like to participate
in the listserv, e-mail email@example.com.
Are negotiations a thing of the past now? Why don't we revisit and
hopefully resolve some pending issues? Am I allowed to say that?
Yes, you are allowed to say it. Your message reflects what I've
heard from several people, which is: 'Why don't we try to settle
some aspects of the contract?'
answer is because the company has refused to accept anything short
of total surrender from the Guild.
has refused to meet with us since July. And even on that date they
refused to meet with us face-to-face.
There are a
number of neutrals who have been involved in issues related to negotiations.
They all are amazed and outraged at the company's behavior.
A place to start
settling issues would be with grievances (we currently have 20 arbitrations
pending.) Instead the company insists on litigating (and mostly
The Guild has
filed several charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
seeking a "complaint" against the Journal. Similar to
an indictment, a complaint charges the company with violating labor
law. We allege that the company has done this by imposing changes
in our medical, vacation, holiday, and parking provisions.
In the context
of the pending charges, the federal mediator, the NLRB agents and
our lawyer contacted the company regarding what it would take to
settle everything. Our positions were very reasonable. The company
response was they would rather go to trial than settle!
Under the company
final offer, management would reduce the pay scale for all new pre-publishing
department employees, and be able to make whatever changes they
want in work duties - without negotiating with the union.
Under the company
proposal, the NLRB charges and pending grievances (including those
we've won but are tied up in company litigation) would be dropped.
company proposal management could change medical plans anytime they
Under the company
proposal, workers would have a phantom right to parking. The company
could eliminate it anytime without challenge from the Guild. We
have spent years getting a parking benefit, and the company wants
to take it away.
company proposal we would get no improvements in pensions or 401(k)'s
even though this has been done for all other Belo employees. (The
company has refused to talk to us about it. We've asked the NLRB
to charge the company with refusing to provide the Guild with information
regarding pensions and 401(k)s.)
The Guild bargaining
team and the executive board have been willing to consider any reasonable
proposal from the company. Our bargaining positions were based on
a survey of our members. We did not put outrageous proposals on
This is not
a petty squabble of minor issues. The company is attempting to destroy
the union. No joke. No exaggeration.
-- Tim Schick,
'Gold Heart' from respected RI group; Guild
rally to note lack of heart in negotiations
Tuesday, Dec. 12,
is your chance to tell the Journal Company, and anyone else who happens
by in downtown Providence, how you feel about the way the company has
At noon, the American
Heart Association will give Howard Sutton its Gold Heart Award, to "hail
the spirit that promotes community health and well-being."
The world needs to
know that the Journal doesn't give a hoot about its own employees' well
We are, after all,
a big part of this community.
And the Journal needs
to know that we are angry, united and steadfast.
So our usual leafleting
of such events is being expanded into a rally.
The rally will
be outside the Westin Hotel, across from the Journal, from 11:45 a.m.
to 1 p.m.
Even if you can only
come for 20 minutes, please be there.
The company illegally
imposed the bad stuff (increased health insurance costs, fewer holidays),
denied us the good stuff (raises, gain-sharing and bonuses), and won't
even talk to us about making our pensions equal to those of nonunion people.
We're not going to
let them get away with that.
And on Tuesday, we'll
let everyone hear how we feel about it.
WANT A WHAT?
Belo Corp. employees:
to a labor union in Providence can get you on the corporation's bad side.
But simply asking
for a pay hike in non-union Dallas also can wear out your welcome.
the lesson of a story published in the Nov. 16 edition of Newspapers &
Technology, although it's a point that won't come as too much of a surprise
to those of us at the Providence Journal, where Belo's managers are out
to bust the Guild.
that Belo's largest newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, recently shipped
16 pressroom workers to Switzerland for training on a new printing press
that was being built there.
the trade paper noted, management said some workers returned to Texas
with an "attitude."
did have one or two, as you would expect, that came home and said 'OK,
now that I'm trained and I know all of this, I need more money,'"
Paul Webb, production vice president, told the trade paper.
Webb said things turned out fine for Belo in the end: "They no longer
work for us."
Copyright © 2000 The Providence Newspaper Guild
TNG/CWA Local 31041
270 Westmister St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903
401-421-9466 | Fax: 401-421-9495