|Vol XIl, Issue 16
||TNG/CWA Local 31041
||March 2, 2001
10 NEW UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE COUNTS AGAINST JOURNAL
All charges to be
heard April 2;
The Guild made several proposals to the company Feb. 14. The company
has yet to respond or agree to new meetings.
A hearing on the company's 30 violations of federal labor law is
scheduled to start April 2. (See accompanying article).
A Guild member circulated a petition stating that members know what
the leadership is doing and support it. This was intended to counter
Howard Sutton's suggestion in his letter to Guild members that the
leadership is acting without members' support. With 212 signatures,
the petition was recently delivered to Sutton.
For all the latest news and information on Guild activities, as
well as details of contract proposals and an archive of Guild Leaders,
visit our improved Web site at www.riguild.org.
Sixty-five people are now members of the Guild's lively on-line
discussion group. If you have access to non-company computer, you
can join the listserv by e-mailing Tony DePaul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your phone number.
case against newspaper deepens
Ten more counts of
alleged federal labor law violation have been added to the 20 already
issued against the Providence Journal by the National Labor Relations
Board, which charges that the newspaper has failed to bargain properly
with the Guild.
The new counts are
in an amended complaint that was issued by the NLRB Feb. 28 and received
by the union yesterday.
These new charges
will be prosecuted by the NLRB along with the earlier ones, in the hearing
scheduled April 2 in Providence before a federal administrative law judge.
Among the new counts:
The company last August changed the advertising sales incentive
program without bargaining with the Guild, and failed to provide the union
information about it.
· Last September, the company abruptly changed
its voucher system for reporters' use of taxicabs.
· The company changed its method of reporting
the hiring of new workers and irregular extras, again without bargaining.
· And in six instances, it refused to provide
the Guild information that it needs to represent its members and to bargain
for a new contract. Among the information the company failed to provide
is that about digital convergence work, use of temporary workers, leaves
of absence, medical plans, parking, and 401k retirement accounts.
The Guild had filed
a number of other charges, but has withdrawn them. Some of those charges
have been withdrawn on the basis of information that the union received
as a result of the unfair labor practice charges; and others may be resubmitted
in the future.
The new charges expand
the government's case against The Journal and worsen the black mark they
represent against the newspaper, further branding it as an alleged law-breaker,
in contrast to its attempts to paint itself as a good corporate citizen.
The first round of
complaints against the newspaper was issued by the NLRB last Dec. 20.
United Way campaign draws 63 donors
The United Way reports that 63 Guild members made donations during
our first-ever campaign, raising a total of $6,786.
first effort, it was reasonable,'' said Carissa A. Hill, the United
Way senior account manager who handled the Guild's campaign. "We
definitely could have seen more participation."
The Guild campaign
faced some unusual difficulties. We were competing with the company
campaign, which started much earlier. Because of delays by United
Way, we got off to a late start, launching the campaign during the
last two weeks of the year, when many people were away and everyone
was preoccupied with the holidays. Additionally, all our members
are feeling the pinch of working two years without a raise, and
have less to donate.
But it was worthwhile
effort. Many donors said they normally do not give to the corporate
campaign, but wanted to support the Guild's effort.
We feel confident that we collected a significant amount of money
that the United Way would not have otherwise received. If Guild
members decide to hold this campaign again, we will expect participation
Meanwhile, the United Way will continue to accept donations, and
anyone who has not yet given should not hesitate to pitch in and
improve our numbers.
sure to specify that you are participating in the Providence Newspaper
Guild campaign. Donations can be sent to Carissa A. Hill, United
Way of Southeastern New England, 229 Waterman St., Providence, R.I.
They said that the
Journal improperly imposed new working conditions without bargaining,
including a new set of medical plans and worker payments for them; elimination
of a paid holiday; and worsened parking provisions.
Also, the Guild had
charged, and the NLRB agreed, that the company was trying to discourage
participation in the union. And the labor board said that the newspaper
withheld information that the union needed to bargain for a new contract.
The new counts are
For example, the union
has requested detailed information about retirement plans, contending
that it can't bargain about the subject - one of the key topics in the
current negotiations - without knowing the effect of current and potential
plans could have on its members.
Meanwhile, the company
made changes in advertising incentive plans, denying thousands of dollars
of incentive payments to individuals who left the company before the semiannual
payouts. Incentives are another important issue in this bargaining round.
The union would like its members to have a voice in how the program is
Taxi use became an
issue when the Guild made that a part of its work-to-rule program. City-based
reporters, who aren't required to use their cars, took cabs to assignments.
The company retaliated by restricting the use of voucher cabs to Providence-only
trips. Reporters taking trips by cab outside of Providence were forced
to pay out of their own pocket and seek reimbursement.
Copyright © 2000 The Providence
TNG/CWA Local 31041
270 Westmister St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903
401-421-9466 / Fax: 401-421-9495