Vol XIl, Issue 4 TNG/CWA Local 31041 January 11, 2001


What's Not to Like About the 'Free Parking' Proposal?


  • The company's 'offer' wouldn't be in the contract.
  • The company could cancel or alter it at any time.
  • Eliminated would be most current parking provision

QUESTION: Why has the Guild rejected the company's offer of free parking, which has been a long-time goal of the union?

ANSWER: The Guild did not reject free parking. It rejected removal of parking from the contract.

The company can stop charging us for parking right this minute, and the Guild will cheer.

Nothing the Guild has done or said prevents this. Indeed, if the company were honoring the contract we now have in place, we would all have free parking today.

The company didn't offer us a new parking benefit.
It did the opposite.

The company asked us to give something up - namely, the clauses in our contract that address parking. (The company went ahead and illegally revoked all of these clauses in January 2000. The NLRB has charged the Journal violated the law by doing this.)

The clauses provided the following:

• Guild workers are allowed to use the Fountain Street parking lot under the same terms and conditions as other employees.

• Part-time and other employees are entitled to buy $3.50 coupons for use of the Biltmore garage.

• The Company will make good faith efforts to find discounted parking for those employees on the waiting list for the Fountain Street lot.

• The Company will provide discounted rates for off-street parking during snow emergencies.

It's not much of a parking benefit, but it's in writing.

The company proposed that we eliminate these clauses. In their place, there would be nothing.

What the company has offered is free parking, or bus passes -- on the condition they can eliminate or change it whenever they want.

The Company program also does not cover part-timers who work less than 22.5 hours a week, or irregular extras -- people who could previously use the coupons.

Another problem is what the company's proposed unwritten parking benefit might be. It has refused to provide any details.

The company has refused to say whether there are enough parking spaces for all Guild members (seems unlikely), and how it would go about choosing which Guild members get spaces.

The company has refused to say how long the free parking would last and where Guild members would park once it's withdrawn.

It's clear that accepting the company's "offer" would give us something worse than what we have now.


The Guild is holding a series of lunches this week and next to outline contract issues, and listen to views of union members.

The sessions - noon to 1 p.m. - are being held at the union's headquarters, 270 Westminster St. each weekday until the membership meeting Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Please come to ask questions or just to listen - and get a bite to eat at the same time. It's a chance to ask questions that may be hard to pose in a larger forum.
And an opportunity to get your views heard.

Membership Meeting
Noon Wednesday,
January 17, 2001

The Providence Newspaper Guild will hold its quarterly membership meeting Wednesday, January 17, 2001, at Noon at the Guild Office, 270 Westminster St., in Providence. We will attempt to keep the meeting to an hour in length. Executive Committee and Negotiating Committee members will review the status of negotiations and related issues. Your dues must have been paid up with in the past 30 days for you to attend.

Even with "free parking," people who now pay subsidized rates for guaranteed spots in the garage or the lot could find the gates barred when those facilities fill up each morning. (This is what already happened to coupon-users.) And if the company sells any of its lots, that situation would get worse.

We have been told by the union representing employees at the Biltmore Hotel that its management is seeking to purchase the lot next to the Parkade. We have asked the Journal for details and they have refused to respond.

If company officials sincerely intended to offer free parking for any length of time, they wouldn't be afraid to put it in writing.

The Guild is not the only union that turned down the company's parking offer. The Pressmen's union rejected it too. They told the company that because they work at the production facility they already have free parking, and they had no desire to give the company the unilateral right to eliminate or modify their parking benefits.

Remember: under our current contract, which is still legally in force, the company is required to allow Guild members to use the Fountain Street lot under the same terms and conditions as other employees.

The company's decision to let nonunion workers park there for free while continuing to charge Guild members is yet another violation of the contract and the law.


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