Vol XIl, Issue 29 TNG/CWA Local 31041 June 4, 2001

Robbery heightens concern

Guild demands company
restore security guard

The Guild has demanded that the company resume posting a daytime security guard in the lobby of the Journal Building.

Guards have been stationed in the lobby for years. But the company ended regular guard duty there several weeks ago without notice to workers.

Underscoring issues of security in the building -- even during the daytime -- was last Friday's theft of two bank deposit bags of Journal receipts from a security guard on Fountain Street shortly after noon.

Raymond Limoges, who is an employee of D.B. Kelly, the security company hired by the Journal, was carrying the bags containing business receipts when a North Providence man allegedly grabbed them and ran off.

The thief was caught moments later by an off-duty Providence police officer, Jose Deschamps, who saw the man running through the underpass between the Westin Hotel and the Rhode Island Convention Center.

In a letter written several days earlier to Journal Human Resources Director Thomas McDonough, Guild Administrator Timothy F. Schick, said the union believes the company plans also to curtail evening guard postings in the lobby.

"This change has raised a number of concerns among employees regarding their safety at work and the ability of the company to keep dangerous intruders from entering the building," Schick wrote.

"The Guild demands that the company restore security to its previous levels," Schick said, adding that the union seeks to discuss at the negotiating table changes in security and their effects.

Guild bargaining unit members who have concerns about security should contact Schick or other union officials. Call 421-9466, or e-mail the office at png@riguild.org.

Hearings postponed after NLRB lawyer
suffers back injury

For a second time, the National Labor Relations Board has postponed the hearings into unfair labor practices charges brought by the government against the Providence Journal in connection with its bargaining tactics.

The hearings are now expected to begin sometime in July.

The schedule change was announced last week after the lead NLRB lawyer, who will be prosecuting the case against the newspaper, suffered a serious back injury.

Initially, hearings in Providence had been scheduled for early April. The NLRB rescheduled them to June 25 because it wanted to consider adding new charges brought by the Guild and to prepare the overall case.

The latest postponement comes as the Guild has launched a series of ads in newspapers around the state, announcing the start of the hearings, in order to focus public attention on the sessions.

The ads said: "Journal on Trial June 25, Feds Say ProJo Unfair."

Readers were directed to a new Guild web address, www.journalontrial.org, which gives background of the NLRB case, and which announces that the Guild will have daily coverage of the hearings when they do begin.

Because of the postponement, the Guild has revised the wording of some of the ads, taking out the starting date, and rescheduled publication of some of the other ads.


The next membership meeting will be held Thursday, June 14, at noon. The session will be at the Guild office, 270 Westminster St., Providence, second floor.

Guest speaker will be Naomi Ishisaka, who was among those who walked out during the Seattle strike.

The Guild executive and negotiating committees will update members on negotiations and the unfair labor practice hearings.

And the drawing will be held for the annual Guild scholarships.

(Guild bylaws require members to have paid dues in full within the past 30 days in order to attend membership meetings).

The Guild again is offering discount tickets to the Six Flags New England Amusement Park near Springfield, Mass. Adult membership tickets can be purchased for $20.50, a saving of more than $16, at the Guild office.

The Guild decided to cover the hearings both because it knows that its members will be eager to hear timely details of the case, and because the Journal itself has avoided most coverage of its dispute with the Guild.

Other media have found the continuing story newsworthy, as evidenced by stories they've done recently:

The Warwick Beacon did a thorough piece focusing on Guild preparations for a possible readers' boycott against the Journal.

The Dallas public radio station broadcast a story on the struggle after two Guild members went to the Belo Corp. stockholders' meeting in Dallas.

The Providence Phoenix has continued to cover the story in depth, with recent pieces about the stockholders' meeting, and whether close ties between the local National Public Radio outlet and The Journal could diminish the station's coverage of the labor dispute.

The ads alerting the public to the NLRB case have run in the Providence Business News and the Phoenix, and are to run in other papers.

In addition to posting timely stories on the web, the Guild intends to publish daily accounts in the Guild Leader, which will be distributed to union members in the usual way.

HOME PAGE: This is a portion of the Guild's web site created for the union's coverage of the upcoming NLRB hearings.

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