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Firing line The Newspaper Guild Powered By Docstoc
					Reporter
                      THE GUILD
                                                                                                                                               High-tech
                                                                                                                                             workers under
                                                                                                                                            growing pressure
                                                                                                                                                      page 6



June 15, 2001                           A Publication of The Newspaper Guild and The Communications Workers of America • Volume 68, Number 6



Firing line
Newspaper penny-pinching
results in such oddities as Non-
Seattle Times, Akron CD Journal

T
        he cost-cutting mania that       large-scale redevelopment of a
        has gripped the newspaper        nearby property. And if he rattles
        industry these past several      his sabers loudly enough, perhaps
months continues, albeit with sev-       Blrethen can extract tax breaks or
eral unusual twists.                     other money-saving concessions
    The Akron Beacon Journal, for        from a city already reeling from
example, has taken the ultimate          the dot.com implosion.
step in cutting newsprint consump-           But whatever the particulars in
tion—by putting its newspaper on         Seattle, there’s no question that the
compact discs. The Journal report-       nation’s publishers overall have
edly is producing approximately          been gripped by a seige mentality.
250 CDs a night, to be sold on               Knight Ridder’s well-publi-
newsstands alongside the print ver-      cized 10% payroll cut is well under
sion for the same two-bit price; the     way: the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the
company says it costs only 19 cents      Miami Herald and The Macon
to produce each CD, compared             Telegraph all recently started offer-
with 35 cents for each newspaper.        ing buyouts. The CD-enamored
    Seattle Times publisher Frank        Beacon Journal is looking to cut 55
Blethen, on the other hand, is talk-     jobs, including 17 in the news-
ing about following in Boeing’s          room. The Tallahasee Democrat is
footsteps—out of the city. In his        paring 25 jobs and eliminating a
case, however, the move would be
prompted by the city’s “ultraliberal,
pro-labor stance,” which for
                                         free entertainment tabloid and a
                                         stand-alone Saturday business sec-
                                         tion. The Contra Costa Times said
                                                                                  Vultures circling over
Blethen is a bad thing. Among the
problems prompting this outburst,
according to an article in the com-
                                         it will cut 87 jobs.
                                             But it’s not just financially vul-
                                         nerable companies—which is how
                                         Tony Ridder likes to portray the
                                                                                  the last radio frontier
                                                                                  S
peting Post-Intelligencer, is the                                                        ometimes the only way to appreciate the thick-    teeth on edge of even the most “liberal” listeners.
city’s use of the Clean Air Act “to      country’s second largest newspa-                ness of the shadows is on the fringes. When it    And, for decades, that’s how it was in New York,
penalize employees who have cars.”       per chain—that suddenly are rear-               comes to the growing corporatization of the       Berkeley, Washington D.C., Houston and Los
    A spokesman for Seattle mayor        ranging the corporate furniture.         media, that fringe is the five-station Pacifica radio    Angeles.
Paul Schell described Blethen’s          Reuters is canning 50 top man-           network.                                                     Over the past couple of years (see the August,
actions as “bizarre.” Other              agers as it restructures itself, and         Founded after World War II by pacifist Lewis Hill,   1999 Guild Reporter), however, the Pacifica National
sources, however, speculated that        while it won’t say whether more          Pacifica was conceived as true listener-supported        Board has had a decidedly more business-like
Blethen simply was angling to            layoffs are coming, the Financial        community radio: No community sponsors, like those       demeanor. First under the leadership of Mary Frances
move to cheaper digs: the newspa-        Times has reported that an addi-         infiltrating National Public Radio and PBS. Truly cre-   Berry, and more recently that of David Acosta, the
per’s five buildings on 12 acres         tional 500 will be pounding the          ative programming, even when that meant the occa-        board has censored, fired or banned dozens of pro-
could fetch a high price because of      pavement by mid-summer.                  sional truly amateurish production. And an embrace       gressive broadcasters and provoked a handful of
Microsoft founder Paul Allen’s                         Continued on page 3        of free and often indelicate speech that could set the                                   Continued on page 8


For women, ‘new economy’ issues same as old
                                         issues facing working                              they’ve belonged to a       surrounding the unprecedented         those confronting women workers
      By Gretchen Wilson
 WashTech, TNG-CWA Local 37083           women, I felt at home.                             labor union. But that’s     wealth of the “new economy,”          in the old economy: child care,
                                         Of course, that feeling                            the least of it. As we      workers in the high-tech industry     elder care, flex time, family leave,


I
     come from a long line of            was helped by the fact                             saw when a majority         stand to gain a great deal from       health care. Nearly 20% of the
   working women. My maternal            that I am an organizer                             of Amazon employ-           becoming organized. Most work         respondents to a WashTech survey
   grandmother, Aileen Thomp-            with the Washington                                ees were laid off in        for middle-class wages or less. In    on work and family issues stated
son, was a Danish-language tele-         Alliance of Techno-                                favor of less expen-        fact, nearly 7,500 permanent          they had “delayed starting a fami-
phone translator and unionized           logy Workers, which                                sive, outsourced (and       workers in the Seattle area, or 15%   ly due in part to inadequate family
operator in Seattle during the           organizes workers in                               mostly female) cus-         of the IT workforce, did not earn a   benefits.” Moreover, women high-
1930s, prompting me to joke              the “new economy,”                                 tomer service reps in       living wage in 1999. And that’s       tech workers still face unequal
sometimes that I’d been “grand-          the most disadvan-                                 India, “new econo-          not counting the thousands of         pay, sexual harassment and gender
mothered” into CWA.                      taged among them                                   my” employers will          technology employees who work         discrimination in hiring and pro-
   So when I recently attended           being women.                                       move just as quickly        as temporary and contingent           motions.
                                                                       Gretchen Wilson
CWA’s annual Women’s Confe-                  We face numerous                               as the old economy          workers, many of whom are                 Yet these are difficult problems
rence in Las Vegas, joining more         obstacles in our organizing, starting types to discourage union organiz-       women.                                to confront because of the increas-
than 500 women—and a few                 with this: For almost all of our ing.                                              The issues for women in the       ingly unstable nature of the work-
men—to discuss some of the               members, this is the first time           Yet despite much of the hype         “new economy” are similar to          force, with an increasing number
                                                                                                                                                              of women workers in contingent
                                                                                                                                                              employment relationships—nearly
                                                                                    Inside this issue                                                         21 million in the U.S., at last
                                                                                                                                                              count. Agency contracting firms
                                                                                                    Martell wins back his job . . . . . . . . Page 2          alone employed nearly 8,000 IT
                                                                                                    Beware the merit pay trap . . . . . . . . Page 4          contract workers in the Seattle
                                                                                                                                                              area in the last quarter of 2000—
                                                                                                    Reporter/photog top minimums . . . . . Page 5             workers who typically lack health
                                                                                                                                                                            Continued on page 3
 2                                                                     THE GUILD REPORTER                                                                                www.newsguild.org



After 32 months, Guild                                                                                                                 In brief . . .
leader gets his job back                                                                                                  Near-unanimous
                                                                                                                          S&P ratification
                                                                                                                                                                 Ottawa; and Carrie Anne May,
                                                                                                                                                                 senior clerk, Toronto TV
                                                                                                                                                                 Scheduling.


M
           ore than two-and-a-half         sure,” while in this case “there was   people out of work—on market
                                                                                                                          The Standard & Poor’s unit of
           years after first being         no suggestion that the employer        conditions, the action came just 10     the New York Newspaper Guild
           dismissed from The              intended other than that Martell’s     days after the Communications,          has ratified, 300 to 14, a con-        A Guild by any
Fredericton Daily Gleaner, union           employment at the Gleaner was          Energy and Paperworkers Union           tract that calls for 16.4% in          other name . . .
leader Tim Martell has been                ending permanently.” It observed       started an organizing campaign at       wage hikes over 51 months,             As The Newspaper Guild-CWA
ordered back on the job by the             that “anti-union animus formed at      the mill.)                              better job security and other          prepares to debate a name
New Brunswick Labour and                                                              Surprisingly, however, the          improvements. The latter               change, TNG Canada has
Employment Board.                                                                 board dismissed a second union          include a broadening of rehire         already pondered the issue—
    In a decision dated May 23, the                                               charge that Gleaner management          and “bumping” language; a              then postponed a decision until
                                                                                  failed to bargain in good faith. The    decrease to three from four job-       next fall. The shelved proposal
board concluded management had
                                                                                                                          security groups, increasing            would retain the abbreviation
been guilty of “anti-union motiva-                                                FTU had accused Gleaner man-
                                                                                                                          opportunities for employees to         “TNG Canada,” but replace the
tion” in laying off Martell and                                                   agement of making unlawful bar-
                                                                                                                          move into other jobs; a $5,000         word “Newspaper” with
ordered him reinstated “to the                                                    gaining proposals, avoiding the         reimbursement toward adoption          “National” when spelled out.
position of employment he occu-                                                   setting of bargaining dates, mak-       expenses; five days of paternity       One possible source of confu-
pied on September 30, 1998,                                                       ing unlawful announcements of           leave; and a $600 health club          sion: the change would make
together with appropriate compen-                                                 future “layoffs” during bargaining,     subsidy.                               TNG Canada’s largest local the
sation for all lost wages and bene-                                               and using a bargaining unit mem-                                               Canadian Media Guild-The
fits.” Martell, currently treasurer                                               ber as a conduit to other bargain-      Homeless paper’s                       National Guild Canada.
of the Fredericton Typographical                                                  ing unit employees.
                                                                                      The union had alleged that
                                                                                                                          staff joins Guild
Union, TNG-CWA Local 30664,                                                                                               CWA Local 34071, the Chicago           Energizer bunny
was then president of the local and                                               Gleaner management was making
one of several employees whose                                                    financial information available to
                                                                                                                          Newspaper Guild, has obtained          can move over
                                                                                                                          recognition for the staff of           Some Guilders just don’t know
jobs were eliminated just as their                                                FTU member and Gleaner reporter         "Streetwise," Chicago's newspa-        when to quit. Take Marcus
contract expired.                                                                 Heather McLaughlin, who in turn         per of the homeless. Executive         Gleisser (left) and William F.
    An unfair labor practice charge                                               was campaigning for acceptance          Director Jerry Minkkenen signed        Miller, both of whom recently
over the layoffs was filed three                                                  of the company’s bargaining offer       up the overwhelming majority of        became the first Local One
weeks later, and hearings began                                                   at the time. The union also had         the 12 employees and request-          members to receive 50-year
Jan. 6. 1999—but then continued                                                   accused McLaughlin of intimidat-        ed recognition based on card           membership pins. And in
                                                       Tim Martell                ing a witness at the board proceed-     check. Management intially             Gleisser’s case it couldn’t come
over an unprecedented 26 days,
                                                                                                                          refused, but after pressure on         soon enough: next year he’ll
spread out over 15 months. Final           least a part of the motivation for     ings.
                                                                                                                          the board of directors by              qualify for his 60-year mile-
arguments were presented last              Martell’s layoff/termination” and          Although the board called
                                                                                                                          Chicago Jobs with Justice, man-        stone. Still a business reporter
July.                                      noted several management actions       McLaughlin’s actions “reprehensi-       agement reconsidered its posi-
    The long ordeal over, a clearly        that convinced the board “that the     ble,” it also found insufficient evi-   tion and recognized the union.
jubilant Martell declared in a CBC         employer had decided to rid itself     dence to support claims that
news interview that the decision           of the troublesome union President     Gleaner management had failed to
“is a victory for labour in New            and wanted to thwart any attempt       bargain in good faith.
                                                                                                                          JwJ prepares for
Brunswick, and a strong victory            to challenge that decision.”               Martell, meanwhile, reports         annual meeting
                                               (The Gleaner’s anti-union senti-   that he continues “to plug along as     As suggested by the above
for TNG Canada. This shows that
                                                                                                                          item, and more recently in
TNG Canada can stand up to large           ments are simply reflective of its     a graphic artist for a non-union
                                                                                                                          demonstrations at the Eugene
economic interests in New Bruns-           parent company, JD Irving, which       shop in another part of our fair
                                                                                                                          Register-Guard, one of the
wick—or any province, for that             earlier this month was charged with    city” and bargained a contract ear-     Guild’s strongest supporters
matter—when we are challenged.”            union-busting after it shut down its   lier this year for a unit of the        has been Jobs With Justice, a
    In practical terms, however, the       Doaktown sawmill, about a 45-min       Moncton, New Brunswick local.           grassroots coalition of labor,
decision may have mostly symbol-           ute drive northeast of Fredericton.    “But there are only so many con-        community, religious and stu-
ic value. Although the Guild tech-         Although the company blamed the        tracts to negotiate in this part of     dent activists. Now TNG-CWA
nically retains jurisdiction over the      closing—which has thrown 134           the country,” he adds.                  members have an opportunity            at the Cleveland Plain dealer,
Gleaner’s composing room, where                                                                                           to return the favor by attending       Gleisser joined the Guild in
Martell was employed, the com-                                                                                            JwJ’s annual meeting in                1942 at the now defunct
posing room has been eliminated
and its functions—and some
                                             TNG-CWA Sector                                                               Cleveland. The Sept. 6-9 ses-
                                                                                                                          sion includes such workshop
                                                                                                                          and plenary topics as the right
                                                                                                                                                                 Cleveland Press. Miller, pointing
                                                                                                                                                                 to his laminated dues checkoff
employees—transferred to the
non-unionized advertising depart-          Conference Schedule                                                            to organize, fighting privatiza-
                                                                                                                          tion, living wage campaigns
                                                                                                                                                                 card from 1953, joined the
                                                                                                                                                                 Guild in 1950 and recenty
                                                                                                                                                                 retired from the PD; he served
ment. Moreover, Martell adds, “I           Thursday, July 5                                                               and—as at all JwJ meetings—a
                                           9 a.m.-noon      Executive Council meeting                    Avenue 4                                                as a TNG international repre-
would also have to be reinstated to                                                                                       local solidarity action; last year’s
                                           Noon             Council of Councils meeting                  Avenue 5                                                sentative from 1963 to 1965.
a bargaining unit position, which                                                                                         was in support of CWA workers
                                           2-5:30 p.m.      Registration                                 Dome
may be a stretch since the Guild                                                                                          at AT&T. For registration infor-
represents only the editorial
                                           3:30-4:30 p.m.   New Delegate Forum                           Satellites 6&7
                                                                                                                          mation, call 202/434-1106 or           Sound bites:
                                           7-9 p.m.         Welcome reception                            Market B-B-Q                                            An NLRB hearing over 15 fir-
department now.”                                                                                           Restaurant     visit www.jwj.org.
                                                                                                                                                                 ings at the Monterey Herald,
    In reaching its decision, the          Friday, July 6
                                                                                                                                                                 originally scheduled for May 8,
labour board noted that a “layoff”         7-8 a.m.              Late registration                       Avenue 3         CMG girds itself                       has been postponed until Sept.
                                           7:30 a.m.             Credentials Committee                   Avenue 4
is typically “a temporary mea-
                                           9 a.m.-noon           General Session                         Forum
                                                                                                                          for fall bargaining                    11. . . . A full-page ad in the
                                                                                                                          With the Canadian Media                May 21 issue of Editor &
                                           11:30 a.m.-noon       Resolutions Committee                   Satellites 6&7
                                                                 Finance and Admin. Committee            Loring           Guild’s two CBC contracts              Publisher commends the
The Guild Reporter (ISSN: 00175404)                                                                                       expiring in November and               winnners of three of the recent-
(CPC # 1469371) is issued monthly,                               Structure & Policy Committee            Forum
                                           1-3 p.m.              Panel seminar on strikes                Forum            December, bargaining is                ly announced Pulitzer Prizes—
generally at four-week intervals, at 501
                                           3-5 p.m.              Committee meetings continue                              expected to start this fall, proba-    all TNG-CWA members. . . .
Third St. NW, 2nd Floor, Washington,
D.C. 20001.                                5:30 p.m.             McClatchy Council meeting               Satellite 8      bly in September. Recently             Although the Providence
                                                                 Knight Ridder Council meeting           Satellite 9      named to the bargaining team           Journal, as reported last month,
Periodicals postage paid in Wash-
ington, D.C., and additional mailing       8-11 p.m.             Hospitality                                              by the national Presidents’            is paying back wages, the
offices. Printed in the U.S.                                                                                              Council were Arnold Amber,             Providence Guild calculates that
Postmaster: Send address changes           Saturday, July 7                                                               executive producer, Toronto TV;        at least 50 employees have
to: Grace Comer, Communications            7:30 a.m.            Credentials Committee (if needed)        Avenue 4         Len Carter, associate director,        received less than they’re owed.
Workers of America, 501 Third St. NW,      9-10 a.m.            Workshops, Session I                                      Toronto TV; Barbara Saxberg,           . . . More than 110 Monterey
Washington, D.C. 20001                                            A. Discretionary Pay                   North Forum      producer, National Radio; Fiona        County Herald employees and
Address changes also can be sent by                               B. MRF/Defense Funds                   Center Forum     Christensen, reporter/editor,          supporters marched May 17,
e-mail to: gcomer@cwa-union.org.                                  C. Complete Contract Campaign          South Forum      Fredericton Radio; Léo Dufault,        then delivered a petition with
                                                                  D. Organizing                          Avenues 4&5      producer, Radio-Canada                 more than 1,000 signatures
Subscription: $20 a year in U.S.
and Canada, $30 a year overseas.
                                           10:45-12:15 p.m.     Workshops, Session II                                     Winnipeg; Don Genova, free-            asking the Herald to bargain fair
Send subscription orders to: Andy                                 (repeat 9 a.m. selection, locations)                    lance producer, Vancouver; Lee         contracts with the San Jose
Zipser, TNG-CWA, 501 Third Street,         1:30-5 p.m.          General Session                          Forum            Siemon, TV sales rep, Toronto;         Newspaper Guild and press
NW, Washington, DC 20001                   5 p.m.               Adjournment
                                                                                                                          Jeff Mitrow, finance clerk,            unions.
Single copies: $1.50
                                           1/2 hour after close Local web workshop                       Forum
 JUNE 15, 2001                                                       THE GUILD REPORTER                                                                                                        3



Blade employees battle
for union recognition
M
            ere weeks after Lavender employees voted        meetings of the staff to excoriate unions. With volun-
            to make it the country’s first unionized gay    tary recognition clearly not on the agenda, a June 15
            publication, employees of the Washington        hearing on a petition for an election was scheduled
Blade also have turned to TNG-CWA for representa-           with the National Labor Relations Board.
tion. And, as at Minneapolis-based Lavender, man-               Meanwhile, support for Blade staffers has come
agement’s response indicates that support for alterna-      from a variety of sources. Nearly 1,000 participants in
tive lifestyles doesn’t necessarily include support for     a Capital Pride Festival on June 10, including several
employee empowerment.                                       prominent members of the District’s gay community,
    After two-thirds of the unit’s 18 union-eligible        signed petitions endorsing their efforts to get union
employees signed cards authorizing the Washington-          representation. And a June 9 letter from four founding
Baltimore Newspaper Guild as their bargaining agent,        investors in Window Media, which acquired the
the union presented the newspaper’s new owners with a       Washington Blade and its sister New York paper May
letter requesting voluntary recognition of the union. An    25, expressed “disappointment” at Waybourn’s
accompanying statement from the employees described         actions.
their decision as “a groundbreaking development in the          “Issues or charges of fairness in the workplace,
evolution of the gay press” and added, “Our aim is to       particularly in this company, are the antithesis of what
help the Blade grow and prosper and continue in its role    our efforts have been about for so many years and
as the gay community’s newspaper of record.                 precisely why we embarked on this venture in the
    “Our decision to unionize should not be viewed as       very beginning,” the investors wrote. “We cannot
a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the new owners,” the           hope to be successful in promoting and effecting
statement concluded. “We look forward to a long and         change in the larger community if our own house is
mutually beneficial relationship.”                          not in order.”
    But that didn’t mollify William Waybourn, presi-
dent of Window Media LLC, which had bought the
                                                                The Minnesota Newspaper Guild, meanwhile,
                                                            filed its own ULP charges May 8 against Lavender
                                                                                                                          Why the smiles?
                                                            Media, whose employees voted for union representa-            Maybe because these folks don’t have to go to work each day:
newspaper less than a week earlier. “Certainly, it
                                                                                                                          they’re retired. But that doesn’t mean they’re inactive. Thanks to
comes as a disappointment,” he announced in a pre-          tion April 2 despite a strong anti-union campaign by
                                                                                                                          the Albany Guild’s newly formed Retiree Advisory Committee
pared statement, adding that he was committed to lis-       management. The union is accusing Lavender owner              and other outreach efforts, several dozen Guild retirees have
tening to “the concerns of the many employees at the        Stephen Rocheford of discriminating against union             resumed their involvement with the local and 31 of them
paper who do not support union affiliation.”                members “by withholding wage increases, threatening           showed up for its first Retirees Appreciation Luncheon. Held
    Instead of listening, however, Waybourn has been        and intimidating employees, targeting the positions of        May 16 at The Desmond in Colonie, the attendees included (l to
more intent on hectoring: the Guild has filed a charge      union supporters for restructuring, unilaterally chang-       r) Chris Gloeckner and John Morrone, sitting; and Art Clemenzi
                                                            ing wages, hours and conditions of work, eliminating          and Nancy Krueger, standing. Guild president Tim O’Brien cred-
of unfair labor practices over his alleged threat to fire
                                                                                                                          ited the retirees with making the crucial difference in stopping
two employees if they didn’t stop their union organiz-      positions in the bargaining unit” and “threatening to
                                                                                                                          the Albany Times-Union’s efforts to take over the pension plan.
ing activities. Waybourn also has held captive audience     terminate union supporters.”



Penny-pinching produces layoffs, oddities
Continued from page 1                             affected, that assurance in some cases sim-            (E&P reflects the new reality in other     protesting such bottom-line fixation, his call
    Time Inc., now but a middling province        ply doesn’t wash. U.S. News & World                ways: the once robust magazine has grown       mid-May for creating a national commis-
in the AOL-Time Warner media empire, is           Report, for example, will soon have to             so anorexic it has room for only one long      sion to focus on “unfettered market forces”
seen as particularly vulnerable to the con-       shorten its title: after closing bureaus in        feature per issue, while its help-wanted       has been greeted with a yawn.
trolling AOL culture’s attention to Wall          Tokyo and London within the past five              classifieds—long a staple of job-hunting           Addressing a Harvard Faculty Club din-
Street. Chairman Steve Case has promised          years, it is looking to thin its editorial staff   journalists—are down to a couple of pages.)    ner of journalists and academics, Harris sug-
31% earnings growth this year, or about           another 10%—and, more than likely, close               None of this augurs well for an industry   gested that a contemporary version of the
twice Time Inc.’s performance over the past       its bureaus in Beijing and Moscow. And             that increasingly can’t retain minority        1947 Hutchins Commission on Freedom of
decade—and that was before the current ad         Editor & Publisher reports that Frank Lalli,       employees in the newsroom, that has seen       the Press could move the profits-vs.-quality
slump. Approximately 365 employees have           who resigned as Sunday editor of New               daily circulation slide from 62.8 million in   debate onto a more public stage. Just such a
been asked to take voluntary retirement, the      York’s Daily News after only three months,         1987 to 56.2 million in 1998 and that each     recommendation was made by TNG’s
Time Inc. Research Center—which                   quit because he was tired of begging for           year makes a smaller investment in capital     Committee on the Future of Journalism a
employs 42—will be closed Aug. 31, and at         contributions.                                     improvements—all while seeking to              couple of years ago, for many of the same
least 30 people have been fired outright,             With fewer than two reporters working          impress the investment community with          reasons and with similarly lackluster results.
with more to come.                                solely on the Sunday paper, Lalli told E&P,        ever higher profit margins. But while for-         Instead, publishers keep experimenting
    Although such cuts typically come with        he had to “walk the halls looking for some-        mer San Jose Mercury News publisher Jay        with the odd and “bizarre.” And the body
promises that editorial quality won’t be          one to do a story.”                                Harris has gathered warm applause for          count keeps rising.


Though workplace changes, problems the same
Continued from page 1                             affect our lives as high-tech                                   Women’s Committee, the            rights. Unorganized women workers around
benefits, paid time off and job security. And     workers. And, in keeping               See page 6 for           conference brought together       the world are being negatively affected by
guess what? Women with family responsi-           with TNG and CWA’s goal related stories on the all sorts of CWA members,                          corporate globalization, like those who
bilities and those with lower skill sets are      to provide lifelong learning          “new economy”             including TNG members of          work as outsourced e-mail customer service
especially prone to finding themselves in         to members, we offer high-                                      other locals, IUE/CWA mem-        reps in Gurgoan, India. Women in Ireland,
these “temporary” work arrangements. In           tech training in programs                                       bers from the industrial sec-     South Africa, Costa Rica, Malaysia and
fact, many of our members and supporters          and programming languages like Flash, tor, public sector employees, health care                   Indonesia do data entry for U.S.-based
change jobs at least once a year, rotating        C++, JavaScript, ASP and XML.                   workers and telecommunications workers.           multinationals. Women assemble computer
through a variety of different employment              By focusing on how we can organize to          We were able to attend workshops on           hardware in Mexico and China. These
relationships.                                    build power for ourselves on the job and by     topics such as education, public speaking,        women workers are also a part of the new
    This impermanence means that tradi-           systematically talking to each other about our CWA history and women’s health. And                economy, and we need to stand together
tional collective bargaining can be only one      workplace issues, we are changing the cli-      while none of the workshops dealt specifi-        with our sisters as they struggle for the same
of our strategies for building power for our-     mate of high-tech work in the region. And as    cally with organizing, this was an overall        issues that we do: justice, dignity and a
selves as workers and as women in the high-       we work to build a majority at our workplaces   theme of the conference, as emphasized by         voice on the job.
tech industry. So at Wash-Tech we are look-       and to attain collective bargaining agree- CWA Executive Vice President Larry                         The solidarity I felt at the CWA
ing at new ways of organizing, building an        ments, we pressure our employers to change      Cohen and TNG President Linda Foley.              Women’s Conference demonstrated that we
industry-wide organization that is centered       employment relationships, to improve bene-          The issues facing women workers obvi-         are on the right track. While there is still
at the worksite and is focused on workplace       fits and to acknowledge our voice at the table. ously are not limited to WashTech women           much to accomplish, we are working
and industry-specific issues. We mobilize              As a young feminist and union activist     or CWA women, or even to women in the             together to expand our community and our
members to advocate on behalf of ourselves        attending the women’s conference, I was         United States. The “new” economy increas-         union. After witnessing the incredible work
in public policy and legislative issues. We       grateful to learn from and become inspired by   ingly means a race to the bottom, as corpo-       that so many of us do, I am once again very
keep each other informed on our website           other CWA members who are committed to          rations use free-trade agreements like            proud to be part of CWA and TNG. I think
(www.washtech.org) about the issues that          women’s issues. Organized by the CWA            NAFTA and the FTAA to evade workers’              my grandmother would be proud, too.
 4                                                                  THE GUILD REPORTER                                                                                 www.newsguild.org




Merit pay amounts to a blank check—
           By Barbara Camens                     which is fixed as to timing, but discre-
          TNG-CWA Legal Counsel                  tionary as to amount.
                                                     Employers sometimes argue that


N
         ot all merit pay systems are created    because merit pay is discretionary, they may
         equal. When Guild contracts pro-        discontinue merit increases at will, and
         vide minimum wage scales that           especially after a contract expires. The
conform to industry wage standards, merit        NLRB repeatedly has held, however, that as
pay—in the form of “individual bargaining”       long as certain aspects of a merit pay system
between employer and employee—can be             are well-established and predictable, then
used to fairly reward top performance.           discretionary increases must be given even
    In far too many Guild contracts, howev-      during a contractual hiatus to maintain the
er, the employer has succeeded in keeping        status quo.
wage scales below market and uses merit              So, if the timing of merit increases has
pay to selectively reward a chosen few,          become well established—linked, for exam-
while the rest of the bargaining unit simply     ple, to an employee’s anniversary date, or to
endures substandard wages. The Guild,            receipt of an “outstanding” performance
meanwhile, often has little leverage to argue    evaluation—then any discontinuation of
on behalf of an employee who feels unfairly      that system likely would be an improper
evaluated or compensated.                        unilateral change in the terms and condi-
    TNG-CWA locals therefore must remain         tions of employment. This was the holding
vigilant regarding merit pay—both in con-        in a Guild case against the Los Angeles
tract negotiations, when the merit pay sys-      Daily News, where the employer retained a
tem is set, and in contract administration,      certain range of discretion in evaluating
when merit increases are doled. Here are         employee performance but the system as a          er unfettered discretion to pick and choose       issue in collective bargaining—namely,
some points to consider:                         whole was well-established and predictable:       who will be rewarded, and to what degree.         wages. The board therefore held that the
    • Merit pay is a mandatory subject of        employees were evaluated near their               As one might expect, such attempts can            employer could not implement its discre-
bargaining. An employer has a legal duty to      employment anniversary dates, and merit           quickly take the parties to impasse.              tionary wage proposal without the union’s
bargain with the Guild over the procedures       raises normally fell within a 3% to 5%            Fortunately, the legal rules which would          consent, even in the face of a legitimate
and criteria for granting merit increases. The   range for those who received a positive           then apply are quite favorable.                   impasse in bargaining.
employer has a statutory obligation to pro-      appraisal. The NLRB therefore squarely                Typically, an employer may unilaterally           Questions have been legitimately raised
vide, upon the Guild’s request, payroll          held that the employer’s unilateral decision      implement any mandatory subject of bar-           as to whether the McClatchy doctrine has
information regarding the award of merit         to discontinue merit increases pending            gaining upon impasse in contract negotia-         survived the disastrous decision in Detroit
pay within the unit.                             negotiation of an initial contract was            tions, consistent with the “last, best and        Newspapers v. NLRB. There, in the context
    Unfortunately, too many locals fail to       improper.                                         final offer.” But in McClatchy Newspapers,        of the Detroit strike, the District of
diligently exercise their right of information       The employer’s legal duty to continue         Inc. v. NLRB, the board carved out an             Columbia Circuit Court—the same appel-
and some have no idea how much bargain-          giving merit increases as a matter of statu-      exception to this rule with regard to discre-     late court which had decided McClatchy—
ing unit employees actually earn. Without        tory obligation, even after the contract has      tionary pay systems that lack specific,           found that the employer’s merit pay propos-
that payroll information, there is no way for    expired, is extremely important to union          objective criteria for awarding merit pay.        al was sufficiently fixed to permit its unilat-
a Guild local to evaluate the adequacy of        negotiators because employers often threat-       McClatchy’s contract proposal had set no          eral implementation upon impasse. The
unit compensation, to bargain for fair com-      en to discontinue merit pay to force a settle-    criteria for determining the amount or tim-       court noted in particular that the proposed
pensation, or to discern discriminatory          ment. Note well, however, that when the           ing of merit increases and also failed to         contract offered annual 1% across the board
wage patterns which may exist within the         contract makes clear on its face that merit       allow for Guild input, either in the employ-      increases (applied to actual employee
unit. Merit pay information also is crucial to   increases shall be granted only during the        er’s initial decision to grant individual merit   wages, not just to contractual scales),
TNG’s ability to conduct meaningful wage         contract’s effective term, the employer           increases, or through the grievance proce-        assured average merit increases across the
surveys among Guild locals or within the         might be privileged to discontinue the            dure after the increases were received.           unit of 4%, 3%, and 3% annually, and pro-
industry at large.                               increases when the contract expires.                  In upholding the NLRB’s finding of an         vided for annual performance evaluations
    Moreover, while some Guild contracts             Guild leaders therefore should resist any     unfair labor practice, the reviewing court        linked to receipt of merit pay which could
require employers to provide payroll data        contract language that limits merit increases     found that permitting the employer to uni-        be grieved but not arbitrated. In the court’s
(including merit pay information) on a reg-      to the effective term of the agreement, to        laterally implement such a discretionary          eyes, these criteria sufficiently distin-
ular basis, employers frequently turn those      avoid a financial squeeze on members dur-         pay system upon impasse, without the              guished the merit pay proposal in Detroit
provisions on their heads to argue that the      ing any hiatus between contracts.                 Guild’s agreement, would be “so inherently        from the McClatchy rule.
Guild has waived its right to any additional,        • An employer may not unilaterally            destructive of the fundamental principles of          Viewed in the most objective light, the
or more frequent, access to payroll data.        implement a totally discretionary merit           collective bargaining that it could not be        Detroit decision did not undo the
Any waiver of the Guild’s legal right to         pay system, even upon impasse.                    sanctioned as part of the doctrine created to     McClatchy doctrine but helped define its
request and obtain payroll information must      Increasingly, publishers are seeking through      break impasse and restore active collective       parameters. McClatchy’s continuing rele-
be, by NLRB law, “clear and unmistakable”        collective bargaining to broaden their dis-       bargaining.” The court further noted that the     vance was demonstrated in the same
and any waiver arguments should be mea-          cretion in compensating employees. Many           pay system would confer such broad discre-        appelate court’s recent decision in Anderson
sured against that favorable standard.           Guild locals have been hit at the bargaining      tion upon the employer on matters of com-         Enterprises, d/b/a Royal Mirror Sales v.
    • An employer may not unilaterally           table with proposals to discontinue all           pensation as to undermine the Guild’s rep-        NLRB, in which it enforced a board ruling
change or discontinue a merit pay system         increases in scales and to grant the employ-      resentative role on perhaps the most central                             Continued on page 5



On getting whip-sawed by ‘merit’ pay
          By R. Ray Rudersdorfer                     The company’s approach, for the second            Three days later, on pay day, the chapel      tor, the company notified the union it was
      President, TNG-CWA Local 30403             time in four years, was to renegotiate every      chairman informed me that many people             prepared to pay the negotiated increases to
                                                 clause in the agreement and to combine            had not received the negotiated increase. I       all employees working for the company at


M
            erit pay is discretionary pay,       many of them into less “restrictive” lan-         called the company representative, who said       the time of the ratification vote.
            dependent on the whim of your        guage. It also proposed that merit-pay lan-       that any person who had been given merit              Attached to the final settlement agree-
            employer or boss. And boss is a      guage be incorporated into other clauses.         pay and was making more than the negoti-          ment was a threatening letter from the com-
four-letter word.                                This proposal was rejected by the union. We       ated rate would not receive the increase.         pany lawyer that alleged that the appeal for
    These statements are as true today as        insisted that merit pay be identified as a sep-   The company’s position was that this had          a third-party resolution had done serious
they were at the beginning of the Industrial     arate provision. The company finally              been agreed to by the Guild representative        harm to union-company relations.
Revolution. To an employer, merit pay still      agreed.                                           who had negotiated the previous contract—             As     TNG-CWA Secretary-Treasurer
means “control” and control means power.             Because of a 10% wage roll-back three         although the company had not made the             Bernie Lunzer wrote in the April edition of
    TNG Local 30403 in Vancouver had a           years earlier, the union’s negotiating team       committee aware of this practice while bar-       The Guild Reporter, discretionary (merit)
first-hand experience with abuse of merit pay.   was determined to regain monetary position        gaining the 2000-2003 contract. Moreover,         pay is an easy route to abuse. We must use
Last July, the contract with Western MailTech    with this agreement. The settlement recom-        when the Guild representative was contact-        renewed pressure to push back against
Ltd., a medium-sized direct-mailing house        mended by our committee was for a term of         ed he denied any such agreement had been          unfair pay schemes. Wage minimums must
with 35 to 40 employees in Delta, B.C.,          three years, with across-the-board increases      made.                                             be raised to reflect the real value of work
expired. I and employee representatives of       of 3% in the first year, 2.5% in the second           The union went to the B.C. Labour             being done.
the unionized employees in all departments       and 2.5% in the third year. The contract was      Relations Board and filed charges of bad-
except sales staff met with representatives of   ratified by a large majority of the employees     faith bargaining against the company. After         Reprinted from the May-June issue of
the company to bargain a new contract.           and signed the same day.                          several days of hearings before an arbitra-       TNG Today.
 JUNE 15, 2001                                                       THE GUILD REPORTER                                                                                                                 5




for employers
Continued from page 4                   pay systems are coupled with min-
                                                                                 Reporter/photographer
that barred the employer’s post-
impasse implementation of a com-
pensation plan; the court noted
                                        imum wage scales that guarantee
                                        fair, adequate compensation, such
                                        systems ultimately may under-
                                                                                 top minimum salaries*
that the plan’s discretionary nature    mine industry wage standards.           Contract                        Minimum         After     Contract                          Minimum           After
would undermine the process of          Why pay more money across the
collective bargaining and the           unit when the threat of exit by any     New York, NY, Times              $1416.83       2 yrs     Jersey City, NJ, Jersey Journal   795.03            4 yrs
union’s role within it. Although        particular, valued employee can         Boston, MA, Globe                 1260.16       5 yrs     Peoria, IL, Journal Star          788.00            5 yrs
the plan included a detailed flat-      be met by an immediate merit-pay        Victoria, BC, Times-Colonist      1233.12       5 yrs     Mt. Clemens, MI, Macomb Daily,
rate system of hourly wages, it         offer that matches or tops the com-     Philadelphia, PA, Inquirer,                                          Daily Tribune (2)      785.66            5   yrs
also permitted the employer to          petition? For all of these reasons,                Daily News (2)         1200.00       5   yrs   Sacramento, CA, Bee               780.00            6   yrs
                                                                                Chicago, IL, Sun-Timesa           1182.01       5   yrs   Bremerton, WA, Sun                768.18            6   yrs
assign or reassign employees to         Guild locals should proceed with        Wall Street Journal, NYb          1180.00       6   yrs   Cape Breton, ON, Post             763.66            6   yrs
any job classification—a degree         care and caution when negotiating       Montréal, PQ, Gazette             1166.00       5   yrs   Sheboygan, WI, Press              760.62            5   yrs
of discretion so great it “nullifies    for employer discretion in setting      Ottawa, ON, Citizen               1114.56       5   yrs   Yakima, WA, Herald-Republic       757.20            4   yrs
the effect of any otherwise             levels of compensation.                 Minneapolis, MN, Star Tribune     1114.25       5   yrs   Lowell, MA, Sun                   751.14            5   yrs
enforceable standards the plan              To recap:                           Cleveland, OH, Plain Dealer       1103.21       5   yrs   Duluth, MN, News-Tribune          745.46            5   yrs
may have.”                                  1. Merit pay is a mandatory         Honolulu, HI, Advertiser          1099.78       5   yrs   El Diario - La Prensa, NY         736.65            4   yrs
    When, then, is a merit pay pro-     subject of bargaining. Bargain          Pittsburgh, PA, Post-Gazette      1090.00       6   yrs   Fall River, MA, Herald-News       736.28            4   yrs
                                                                                Honolulu, HI, Star-Bulletin       1088.00       5   yrs   Canton, OH, Repository            735.97            5   yrs
gram so discretionary as to require     hard for objective criteria in the      St. Paul, MN, Pioneer Press       1075.01       5   yrs   Peterborough, ON, Examiner        726.85            6   yrs
union consent for its implementa-       employee evaluation process, for a      San Jose, CA, Mercury-News        1066.14       6   yrs   Los Angeles, CA, Daily News       721.14            6   yrs
tion? And when may an employer          direct link between standards of        St. Louis, MO, Post-Dispatch      1054.00       5   yrs   Stratford, ON, Beacon Herald      719.25            5   yrs
simply implement a discretionary        performance and the receipt of          Baltimore, MD, Sun                1046.00       5   yrs   Youngstown, OH, Vindicator        713.35            5   yrs
pay system upon impasse?                merit pay, and for a meaningful         Denver, CO, Post                  1030.00       5   yrs   York, PA, Daily Record            708.00            4   yrs
    Employers appear legally free       Guild role in challenging individ-      Toledo, OH, Blade                 1023.87       4   yrs   Long Beach, CA, Press-Telegram 707.00               6   yrs
to implement a merit-pay system         ual evaluations.                        Buffalo, NY, News                 1020.64       5   yrs   Modesto, CA, Bee                  700.00            6   yrs
                                                                                San Francisco, CA, Chronicle      1018.68       6   yrs   York, PA, Dispatch                695.67            4   yrs
on reaching impasse when such               Negotiate a minimum merit           Washington, DC, Post              1002.20       5   yrs   Pueblo, CO, Chieftaing            695.22            5   yrs
increases are directly linked to        pool or for average minimum             Halifax, ON, Herald               1000.00       4   yrs   Knoxville, TN, News-Sentinel      692.16            4   yrs
grievable performance evalua-           merit increases.                        Maui, HI, News                     984.71       5   yrs   Pawtucket, RI, Times              692.02            4   yrs
tions; when the contract sets a min-        Negotiate for minimum wage          Providence, RI, Journal-Bulletin   968.91       4   yrs   Sioux City, IA, Journal           678.53            4   yrs
imum average for annual merit           scales that are meaningful, ade-        Boston, MA, Herald                 967.65       4   yrs   Fresno, CA, Bee                   675.00            6   yrs
increases; and when such discre-        quate and in line with industry         Akron, OH, Beacon Journal          965.00       4   yrs   Kingston, NY, Daily Freeman       665.07            4   yrs
tionary raises are coupled with         wage standards. The narrower the        Manchester, NH, Union Leaderc 956.83            3   yrs   Dayton, OH, Daily News            660.50            5   yrs
                                                                                Denver, CO, Rocky Mt. News         949.00       5   yrs   Harrisburg, PA, Patriot-News      649.10            4   yrs
fixed, across-the-board raises. To      employer’s range of discretion and      Memphis, TN, Commercial Appeal 939.54           6   yrs   Woonsocket, RI, Call              607.72            4   yrs
the extent that a merit pay system      the greater the union’s role, the       Cincinnati, OH, Kentucky Post (2) 937.50        5   yrs   Medicine Hat, AB, News            599.62            5   yrs
provides greater employer discre-       less likely merit pay can be abused     Delaware County, PA, Times         912.75       5   yrs   Monessen, PA, Valley Independent 592.24             5   yrs
tion, fewer minimum guarantees,         to undermine prevailing wage            Erie, PA, Times-News               901.52       5   yrs   Hazelton, PA, Standard-Speaker 585.71               4   yrs
or a lesser role for the union, one     standards or the union’s represen-      Seattle, WA, Post-Intelligencer    887.73       6   yrs   Terre Haute, IN, Tribune-Star     585.19            5   yrs
could argue convincingly for            tative status, or to permit discrim-    Kenosha, WI, News                  883.26       5   yrs   San Juan, PR, El Vocero           585.00            5   yrs
application of the McClatchy rule.      inatory patterns in compensation.       Eugene, OR, Register Guard         882.73       6   yrs   Alameda, CA, Newspapers, Inc. 580.00                6   yrs
                                                                                Seattle, WA, Times                 880.17       5   yrs   Lexington, KY, Herald-Leader      575.00            4   yrs
    • Guild locals should use               2. Guild locals should routinely    Moncton, NB, Times Transcript      877.28       5   yrs   Waterville, ME, Sentinel          571.16            5   yrs
available legal tools to negotiate      demand payroll information regard-      Waukegan, IL, News-Sun             869.94       5   yrs   Bakersfield, CA, Californian      570.65            5   yrs
reasonable, objective criteria for      ing merit pay and should provide        Indianapolis, IN, Star, News (2)   861.00       6   yrs   Lindsay, ON, Daily Post           550.29            5   yrs
the award of merit pay. Even            that payroll data to TNG. Unless the    Milwaukee, WI, Journal Sentineld 860.00         5   yrs   Bellevue, WA, Eastside Journal    546.00            5   yrs
when a local membership favors          union knows exactly what employ-        Santa Rosa, CA, Press Democrat 857.51           6   yrs   Wilkes-Barre, PA, Citizens’ Voice 538.00            4   yrs
merit pay, Guild leadership should      ees are earning, it cannot intelli-     Allentown, PA, Calle               857.27       4   yrs   San Juan, PR, Star                528.00            6   yrs
carefully scrutinize all merit pay      gently and effectively negotiate fair   Sudbury, ON, Star                  854.44       6   yrs   Massillon, OH, Independent        490.13            4   yrs
                                                                                North Bay, ON, Nugget              848.03       5   yrs   Norristown, PA, Times Herald      482.42            5   yrs
proposals and existing compensa-        wage standards or ensure that merit     Detroit, MI, Free Press            841.01       4   yrs   Noticias del Mundo, NY            457.25            4   yrs
tion systems because of the many        pay is fairly awarded.                  Detroit, MI, News                  841.01       4   yrs   Rochester, NY, Dem. & Chronicle 419.00              4   yrs
potential pitfalls.                         3. Seek to challenge any uni-       Pottstown, PA, Mercury             837.44       5   yrs   Norwalk, CT, Hour                 415.00            2   yrs
    Some argue, in both labor and       lateral move by an employer with        Kingston, ON, Whig-Standardf       834.93       5   yrs   Utica, NY, Observer-Dispatch      387.50            5   yrs
academic circles, that merit pay        regard to a merit pay system. If the    Joliet, IL, Herald News            834.67       4   yrs
weakens a union’s collective            employer attempts to impose a           Hilo, HI, Tribune-Herald           834.56       5   yrs   Average Reporter Top Minimum: $822.88
dynamic by pitting employees            merit pay proposal, even upon the       Portland, ME, Press Herald         818.49       4   yrs
                                                                                                                                          a—$1175.14 for reporter/assistant editor.
                                                                                Albany, NY, Times-Union            811.84       4   yrs
against each other and by permit-       legitimate declaration of impasse,      Monterey, CA, Herald               808.00       6   yrs
                                                                                                                                          b—Special writer $1307.00.
                                                                                                                                          c—$969.28 for senior reporter.
ting direct dealing with an             seek advice from TNG on whether         Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Star         807.35       4   yrs   d—After 3 years for fully qualified practitioner.
employer, to the detriment of the       McClatchy might prohibit such a         Scranton, PA, Times, Tribune (2) 806.49         3   yrs   e—$994.00 for senior journalist.
union’s representational status.        move and whether an unfair labor                                                                  f—Photographer/reporter $849.93 plus $110 permonth camera
                                                                                Brockton, MA, Enterprise           803.25       4   yrs
                                                                                                                                          allowance.
Some Guild locals also have             practice charge should be filed. If     Fredericton, NB, Daily Gleaner     802.96       5   yrs   g—An additional $20.00 per week after 15 years.
expressed well-founded concerns         the employer stops granting merit       St. John, NB, Telegraph Journal,
that merit pay systems perpetuate       increases upon contract expira-                    Times Globe (2)         795.95       5 yrs     (Number of papers per contract in parentheses)
race, sex and other invidious           tion, carefully examine the lan-        *As of April 1, 2001, as compiled by the TNG-CWA Collective Bargaining Dept.; Canadian wages in Canadian $.
forms of discrimination: any chal-      guage in the expired agreement:
lenge to discriminatory pay pat-        unless merit pay is linked exclu-       Deferred Increases
terns may be met with the frustrat-     sively to the contract term, the        Akron: $27.98 on 8/25/01, $27.80 on 8/25/02.              Long Beach: $14.14 on 7/29/01, $14.43 on 7/28/02.
ing response that “all merit pay        employer must continue granting         Albany: $24.35 on 8/1/01, $25.08 on 8/1/02 and 25.83      Los Angeles: $14.43 on 5/9/01.
decisions are left to the discretion    status quo increases as a matter of         on 8/1/03.                                            Manchester: $31.10 on 1/1/02; sr. rep., $31.50 on 1/1/02.
                                                                                Baltimore: $23.00 on 6/24/01 and 6/23/02.                 Massillon: $14.72 on 2/1/02.
of management.”                         statutory obligation. If in doubt,      Bellevue: $10.80 on 12/22/02.                             Memphis: $25.14 on 1/11/01, $28.18 on 1/11/02, $29.03
    And, of course, unless merit        consult with TNG.                       Boston: $24.67 on 8/1/02.                                     on 1/11/03.
                                                                                Brockton: $19.12 on 5/1/00, $11.76 on 5/1/01.             Milwaukee: $26.00 on 1/2/02, $31.00 on 1/2/03; senior
                                                                                Buffalo: $21.83 on 8/1/01.                                    journalist $30 on 1/2/02, $36 on 1/2/03.

Newsprint use plunges                                                           Canton: $22.08 on 9/6/01
                                                                                Chicago: $45.46 on 10/1/01.
                                                                                Cincinnati: $25.00 on 1/1/02.
                                                                                                                                          Mt Clemens: $20.16 on 1/1/02, $19.42 on 1/1/03.
                                                                                                                                          New York: $28.34 on 3/31/02.
                                                                                                                                          Norristown: $14.47 on 6/7/01.


W
            hile newspaper pub-         ballooned as most newspapers            Denver Post: $31.00 on 1/1/02; Rep./Photo combo,          North Bay: $16.96 on 1/1/02, $17.29 on 1/1/03.
            lishers justify sacking     have slashed consumption, chiefly           $34.00 on 1/1/02.                                     Ottawa: $27.86 on 7/1/01, $22.84 on 7/1/02.
                                        by converting to narrower web           Detroit News: $15.32 on 11/16/01, $15.62 on 11/16/02.     Peterborough: $14.73 on 8/16/01.
            employees by pointing                                                                                                         Philadelphia: $27.47 on 9/1/01, $27.48 on 9/1/02, $27.47
                                                                                Dow Jones: $21.00 on 5/1/01.
to higher costs and lower rev-          widths, cutting special sections        Duluth: $22.36 on 1/1/02.                                     on 9/1/03 and $27.48 on 9/1/04.
enues, at least half of that equation   and zoned editions and decreasing       El Diaro: $22.09 on 7/1/01.                               Pittsburgh: $15.00 on 7/1/01.
                                        page count. March newsprint con-        Erie: $31.55 on 3/2/02, $27.99 on 3/2/03.                 San Jose: $14.24 on 7/1/01, $10.11 on 1/1/02, $12.86 on
is questionable. Although news-                                                                                                               7/1/02, $11.49 on 1/1/03 and $15.61 on 7/1/03.
                                                                                Fall River: $18.40 on 10/2/01, $18.87 on 10/2/02.
print producers tried to bump           sumption was down 9.7% from             Fredericton: $16.05 on 11/1/01, $16.38 on 11/1/02,        Sheboygan: $22.85 on 1/31/02.
prices by $50 a ton earlier this        the same month a year earlier;              $16.70 on 11/1/03.                                    St. Paul: $37.62 on 9/27/01.
                                        April consumption was off an            Harrisburg: $10.00 on 7/1/01 and 7/1/02.                  Terre Haute: $14.38 on 8/16/01.
year, half of that increase has                                                                                                           Toledo: $10.00 on 3/22/01, $17.20 on 9/22/01, $11.45 on
                                                                                Hawaii: $16.49 on 9/10/01, $22.32 on 5/1/02.
already been rescinded and there’s      even steeper 13.3%.                     Hilo: $8.34 on 1/1/02.                                        3/22/02 and $17.24 on 9/22/02.
some possibility of further price          Newsprint is a publisher’s sec-      Joliet: $24.31 on 7/1/00, $25.04 on 7/1/01.               Woonsocket: $13.68 on 9/16/01, $13.98 on 9/16/02.
                                        ond largest expense item—trailing       Knoxville: $20.16 on 10/25/01, $20.76 on 10/25/02,        York Daily Record: $22.00 on 10/1/01.
cuts later this year.                                                                                                                     York Dispatch: $13.91 on 10/1/01, $14.20 on 10/9/02.
                                                                                    $21.38 on 10/25/03.
    Newsprint inventories have          only payroll costs.
 6                                                                    THE GUILD REPORTER                                                                            www.newsguild.org




Brave                                                                               ‘We have some concerns
                                                                                     about whether contract
new                                                                                 work with our agency is a
                                                                                    good match for you . . . .’
world                                                                                             By Philip Gaines
                                                                                            WashTech, TNG-CWA Local 37083
                                                                                                                                        “concern” for my happiness, but it is more likely
                                                                                                                                        he was spitting mad. In one newspaper account,
                                                                                                                                        my statements were featured in opposition to those


                                                                                  M
                                                                                             any employers have learned how to          made by the president of my own company. You


T
         he “new economy” (tired of that cliche yet?) was supposed to be                     intimidate workers by couching threats     do the math.
         the ultimate expression of hard-working individualism. Rewards                      or unfair actions in courteous rhetoric.       Because my employer acted illegally with his
         would flow to those with skill, brains and effort; everyone else—        For instance, last summer I got into trouble with     statements, WashTech told me I could file an unfair
well, there were always burgers to be slung and groceries to be bagged.           my employer because of public statements that I       labor practice charge against my employer. The
But scarcely more than a decade after the new economy gained traction,            made in support of WashTech. After I was quoted       NLRB helped me through the process, which is
it’s already clear that some things never change—including the one great          in the local media, at a press                                            similar to filing a lawsuit. If
immutable: those with money aren’t eager to share it.                             conference, and on the                                                    you file within six months of
     They’ll change the law if that works to their advantage.                     WashTech website, I received                                              the unfair action, an NLRB
     They’ll browbeat the dissenters if that works better.                        a simple email with a simple                                              agent essentially becomes your
     Most insidiously, they’ll convince their employees that when it comes        purpose, as follows:                                                      lawyer, and if you have enough
to negotiating wages, working conditions and job security, the individual             “I wanted to confirm that                                             evidence the NLRB will insist
worker is on a level playing field with mega-corporations that can ship           these articles have quoted you                                            on corrective action.
their jobs overseas in a heartbeat.                                               correctly and that this is a fair                                             In my case, the corrective
     And people buy it.                                                           representation of your perspec-                                           action was very simple: My
     For a quick exploration of such issues, visit the WashTech website           tive of your work with [com-                                              employer settled the case (and
(www.washtech.org) for a point-counterpoint on the need for unionizing            pany name]? . . . We have                                                 yours will, too) because he
the high-tech sector; it also links to another site that includes a sharp         some concerns about whether                                               didn’t want the publicity and
exchange of opinions on the subject, including the following excerpts:            contract work with our agency                                             because he might well have lost
                                                                                  is a good match for you. Any                                              the case if he’d chosen to fight.
    JimO—10:30am Jun 5, 2001 EST                                                  thoughts you have on this                                                 No one got tarred and feath-
    If my dad reads this he will disown me. You see he was a high muck-           would be appreciated.”                                                    ered. Instead, my employer got
ety muck in a union. Contrary to popular belief not all unions are run by             I read some euphemisms Philip Gaines, looking—in his a stern warning and I received
mobsters or crooked scoundrels. That said, I don’t think there is any rea-        into this message, and I sup- words—“unemployed, unshaven a self-confidence boost. More
son for IT workers to unionize. . . .                                             pose that I was correct, but I and kickin’ it.”                           specifically, the settlement
    In the first place most IT workers are salaried staff, NOT hourly             responded by saying that these                        included three things: (1) I received a tidy sum of
employees. The main reason for this is the high price of IT staff, mean-          statements and activities did not affect my work money from my employer. (2) My employer was
ing that paying OT to hourly IT people gets real expensive real quick.            performance, that I still wanted to be a contractor, required to apologize and say “Oops. Our mistake.
    Secondly, unlike most union employees we work in a clean, undan-              etc. This fell on deaf ears. The company policy was   Do you want to work for us again?” (3) My
gerous environment. The poor guy at the end of the assembly line does             clear: no “unhappy” contractors.                      employer was required to post a notice at his
not.                                                                                  For a while, I left the issue alone. I was being  office.
    Thirdly, IT staff often change jobs at the drop of a hat. This ability of     chastised for my principles, but I also needed to         I would have preferred that the notice go on a
skilled IT people to change a job because we don't like the working con-          pay the bills. Like many people, I felt I could not   website, but overall I think this situation worked
ditions is not something that most union people can do. . . .                     afford to tell my employer what he could do with out well. On a bad day, I could belittle my litiga-
    For the record, I’m 42 years old and have been in IT since 1979.              such seemingly courteous email. What if he secret- tion efforts. I am a writer and web designer, and the
                                                                                  ly blacklisted me? What if he passed a memo to        federal government should be the last thing I need
    OldWilly—10:25pm Jun 6, 2001 EST                                              everyone in the industry?                             to get ahead. On a good day (today), however, I
    Lucky you have a job at 42.                                                       In retrospect, I was wrong to delay the filing of can be comforted by the fact that justice won a
    If you lose it, you won’t find another easily. For a long time, I felt the    my complaint with the National Labor Relations round and that I’m back where I was before (with
same as you about unions. Now the shoe’s on the other foot. A lot of peo-         Board. My employer had already cut the cord, and      a few souvenirs).
ple have been thrown out of work lately. I turned 50 yesterday and let me         there really is no reason to be paranoid about the        I could finish by urging you to get some back-
tell you, there is age discrimination and there is discrimination in IT           whole industry turning against you because you        bone and sue your pesky employer, but I won’t.
against mainframe programmers. Younger hiring managers don’t want                 enforced your rights. Those rights, by the way, are   Most employers are not out to get you, and the
anything to do with the old timers.. . . .                                        in Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act,     solutions to most work-related disputes don’t just
    Someone said there are plenty of consultants to cross picket lines. Let       which specifies that “employees shall have the        plop into your lap. Nonetheless, if your employer
me tell you what I believe. With unions there would be fewer consul-              right to . . . self-organization, to form, join, or   throws you a curve, there are ways to hit it. You
tants. They would have real jobs. The consultants are the ones who have           assist labor organizations.”                          would be amazed at the kind of support that your
been let go and can’t find steady work in a lot of cases, but are too young           WashTech, for those of you who don’t know, is actions will elicit. Remember, you have a voice—
to retire and don’t want to move and jerk their kids out of school or their       a labor organization. Actions made on its behalf      so don’t be afraid to use it.
spouse out of his/her job. . . .                                                  are protected under the NLRA. My employer acted
    Wall Street is driving everything and the executives and boards are           illegally when it essentially fired me for supporting     Adapted from an article on the WashTech web-
getting away with robbery at the expense of the little guys. The corpora-         a union organization. My employer expressed site, at www.washtech.org.
tions get bigger and more impersonal. Need I say more?



New bill threatens overtime for techies
A
         bill that would amend the Fair            flood of more than 700 emails, letters and     grammers, software engineers or other sim-      later removed, after heavy lobbying by
        Labor Standards Act’s provisions           faxes protesting the change. Fewer than 50     ilarly skilled workers who earn more than       high-tech employers. The exemption
        governing overtime pay has been            people wrote to support the change.            $27.63 an hour.                                 marked the first time in the history of the
reintroduced in Congress, potentially                  WashTech was founded in large part             “The proposed new language is so broad      FLSA that an exemption to federal overtime
exempting thousands of high-tech workers           because of worker disenchantment at the        it could easily be interpreted to exempt any    law was based solely on how much an indi-
from receiving extra pay when they work            state’s submission to the Software Alliance,   high-tech worker under the sun,” said Mike      vidual earns per hour.
more than 40 hours in a week.                      convincing many high-tech employees that       Blain, co-founder and president of Wash-            Congressman Rob Andrews of New
    The proposed legislation is of special         they need their own statewide organization     Tech. “This has less to do with exempting       Jersey, co-sponsor of the new bill, insists he
concern to WashTech, which three years             to lobby on their behalf.                      professionals and more to do with another       is motivated more by the legal ambiguity in
ago saw the Washington State Department                The proposed federal legislation would     Congressional giveaway to a powerful spe-       the current exemption than by cost consid-
of Labor and Industries adopt the federal          add four new job categories—network            cial interest group—the high-tech industry.”    erations. “Employers are not concerned
rules as a result of lobbying by the               administrator, database analyst, designer          The original federal exemption for com-     about pay,” he explained. “They are paying
Washington Software Alliance. The depart-          and developer—that could be exempted           puter professionals was passed in 1990 and      top dollar to get people. These changes are
ment’s action effectively repealed more            from overtime pay. The law already             was indexed to increases in the federal min-    about the legal risk and ambiguity that an
favorable state rules and was taken despite a      excludes computer systems engineers, pro-      imum wage. That indexing requirement was        employer faces under the current law.”
 APRIL 15, 2001
 JUNE 26,1996                                                           GUILD REPORTER
                                                                     THECOMMENTARY                                                                                                                  7


LOOKING AHEAD

                       Things ain’t
                       what they
                       used to be . . .
                                      By Eric Geist, Director of Field Operations




T
        hat old Mercer Ellington song first      Guild had already recognized the need to
        recorded more than 60 years ago,         organize advertising department workers.
        “Things Ain’t What They Used to          That’s right, The Newspaper Guild was
Be,” could be an anthem for The Newspaper        originally the American Newspaper
Guild’s organizing history.                      Guild—and it stayed that way while it orga-
    The Guild began as a union for journal-      nized magazines, wire services, broadcast-
ists at daily newspapers, but soon expanded      ing, non-dailies, minority-owned publica-
to represent workers in every newspaper          tions, consumer publications, foreign-lan-
department. Today, we also represent people      guage dailies, etc. The name remained until
who work for weekly newspapers, wire ser-        1971, even though the Guild began repre-                When the Streetwise board of directors       newspaper man probably works on an eight-
vices, the religious press, minority-owned       senting Canadian workers in the 1950s.              voluntarily recognized the Chicago local, it     hour-a-day and six-day-a-week basis.
newspapers, news magazines, education-               Like an evolving jazz theme in which            marked the first time the Guild organized        Obviously the publishers, by patting their
related magazines, consumer publications, a      the melody remains constant but the solos           workers at a paper that gives homeless peo-      fathead employees on the head and calling
book publisher, radio and TV stations, pub-      change, the Guild over the years branched           ple a chance to earn money instead of beg-       them ‘professionals’ hope to maintain this
lic broadcasting, Spanish-language print         out more and more. Many locals became               ging.                                            working week scale.”
and broadcast outlets, labor union trade         committed to organizing workers who                     Yes, the Guild is not the same “newspa-          Maybe men and women don’t work six
papers and staff, print shops, financial         demand a voice in the workplace regardless          per writers’ union” that Heywood Broun           days per week in the IT industry, but there
newsletters, employee-owned companies,           of where they work.                                 called for, 68 years ago. When we think          seems to be a lot of rationalizing about long
public relations firms, a construction               When the New York local won an elec-            about organizing, we should think like the       work days.
newsletter, social workers, credit union         tion the second time around for mostly non-         song, “Things Ain’t What They Used to                Broun went on to observe about the pub-
employees, United Way employees, foreign         English-speaking Pakistani emigrants at             Be”—and never were. For further evidence         lishers, “And they’ll succeed, for the men
language translators and interpreters, sign      Hudson News, its success represented two            of that, I urge you to read WashTech             who make up the editorial staffs of the coun-
language interpreters, film extras and IT        organizing milestones for the Guild. One, it        President Mike Blain’s opinion piece, “Why       try are peculiarly susceptible to such sooth-
workers. And, just recently, the Guild orga-     was the first election victory in which the         IT Workers Need a Union,” found at               ing classifications as ‘professionals’ . . . and
nized a Chinese-language newspaper and           organized workers predominantly speak a             www.washtech.org/news/010607_unionyes.           other terms which have completely
two gay publications. (My apologies if I left    foreign language that isn’t related to the          php3. And be sure to follow the links to the     entranced them by falsely dignifying and
any group off this list.)                        employer’s business; and second, it was the         opposing opinion and the readers’ forum.         glorifying them and their work.” While that
    All the above workplaces were orga-          first time we organized newsstand workers.          (See related items on page 6.) If some of the    susceptibility didn’t change overnight, jour-
nized by the Guild in the years since                When the Northern California Media              negative postings sound familiar, you’ve         nalists of such profitable, respected publica-
Heywood Broun in 1933 called for a union         Workers local organized the Chinese Daily           probably read Heywood Broun’s August 7,          tions as The New York Times, The Boston
of journalists. By 1941, the first of many       News, it was the first election we won in           1933 column in the New York World-               Globe, The Washington Post and The Wall
times that Mercer Ellington’s father Edward      which the union and the National Labor              Telegram calling for the creation of a union     Street Journal eventually saw the wisdom of
Kennedy “Duke” Ellington recorded and            Relations Board needed to use an inter-             for journalists.                                 Broun’s clarion call.
played that song, the American Newspaper         preter.                                                 As Broun wrote then, “The average                So, too, will IT workers.


. . . but the more things change, etc. etc.      of 15.6%. The average for all American              Howard Johnsonize it. Howard Johnson             potential for diversity. And it is more likely
             By Ben Bagdikian
                                                 manufacturing corporations during that              restaurants have some virtues: Their produc-     to have a local owner with a stake in the


A
         merican daily newspapers are one        period was 8.2%.                                    tion and accounting are modern and standard,     community. He can have all the arrogance
         of the most profitable of all major         These publicly traded corporations con-         but the food is never distinguished and the      of a local duke, but at least he’s a local one
         industries in the United States. And    trol 23% of all daily circulation in the coun-      chief function is to turn a standard profit.     who has to faced his subjects and isn’t an
they were during the 1970-71-72 “Great           try. Contrary to popular impression, with the           The danger is that loss of independent       anonymous “them” in a remote corporate
Recession.”                                      exception of the Washington Post Co., their         papers will fix a permanent standard of local    headquarters. And when it comes to news
    The illusion of poverty is part of the       revenues and profits are overwhelmingly             mediocrity, except for a few flagship papers.    and ideas, a mixed bag of local dukes is bet-
Hetty Green Syndrome that seems to be in         from their newspaper operations and not             The primary requirement of the local operator    ter than one national king.
the genes of American publishers. . . . Hetty    broadcasting or other subsidiaries. . . .           is to keep out the competition and to ship the       Almost every local editor and publisher
Green was one of the country’s shrewdest             Why the rush to buy newspapers? First,          required annual profits to headquarters. . . .   thinks he is putting out the best possible
financiers and certainly the greatest female     they make lots of money. Second, they are               One need not romanticize the indepen-        product, but it is clear this is not so. The live
money-maker in our history. When she died        going to make even more in the future               dent paper in order to regret its disappear-     newshole in most newspapers, for example,
in 1916 she had accumulated about $100           because they are finally adopting 20th Cen-         ance. Most independent papers are                is a national disgrace; the industry has the
million. On one occasion when a bank             tury production techniques—which, in an             mediocre or worse, just as most chain            third highest profit of all industries yet
offended her she pulled out all her accounts     industry that spends 50%-70% of its budget          papers are. Few are operated on standards of     skimps on its central product. . . .
and drove away in a cab with baskets con-        on manpower, means enormous savings.                quality that good journalists accept.
taining $25 million. But she slept in assorted   Third, for all practical purposes they are a            But if one has to choose between a              Excerpted from The Guild Reporter,
rooms in the Bowery, usually traveled in         limited commodity, like beach-front property,       mediocre independent paper and a mediocre        April 13, 1973. Bagdikian was then presi-
streetcars, and when she needed medical          and as independent monopoly papers get              chain paper, the local independent has           dent of the Mellett Fund for a Free and
attention she put on rags and attended char-     more scarce their value goes up. Fourth, tax        advantages. For one thing, it has more           Responsible Press.
ity clinics. She was always afraid that if she   laws and the way newspapers operate almost
looked wealthy her lawyers and bankers and
doctors would overcharge her, as they
                                                 dictate purchase of other media properties. . . .
                                                     Whatever the brave speeches about local
                                                                                                                                          LETTER
undoubtedly would have. She also hated to        autonomy that are standard ritual at every          To the Editor,                                   ing by Nicaraguan Contras. Despite some
spend money.                                     chain acquisition, the purchased paper edi-            Jay Harris resigned as publisher of the       minor errors, Webb’s conclusions were
                                                 torially is usually no better or worse than it      San Jose Mercury News for a good rea-            later supported by the Hitz report.
    The Hetty Green Syndrome is endemic
                                                                                                     son—short-sighted executives guided only             Press freedom is certainly endangered
among American newspaper publishers.             was before. What the chain generally wants
                                                                                                     by numbers. But he could have resigned a         by market maniacs and executive bean-
With periodic remissions. . . .                  from the paper is high annual profit to be          few years sooner for a better reason—the         counters, but don’t leave out the spy agen-
    The average pretax profit of publicly        used not in improving local quality but to be       paper’s shabby treatment of reporter Gary        cies.
traded papers for the last five years for        exported to the home office to help purchase        Webb.                                                —Per Fagereng
which figures are complete—including the         another paper someplace else.                          Webb’s series, “Dark Alliance,”                      Portland, Oregon
“Great Recession”—shows a profit on sales            The usual effect of buying a paper is to        revealed the CIA’s complicity in drug-deal-             SF Examiner (retired)

    By TNG Convention action, letters to the editor shall          personal attack shall be given opportunity to reply in             Deadline: Friday before publication. (Next deadline:
  be limited to 200 words and shall avoid libel and sub-           the same issue, but publication of either attack or reply        July 13.) Letters may be e-mailed to the editor at
  jects detrimental to the Guild. Members subjected to             shall not be delayed longer than one issue.                      azipser@cwa-union.org.
 8                                                                                                        THE GUILD REPORTER                                                                               www.newsguild.org



Even Pacifica infected by corporatization
Continued from page 1                                                was abruptly switched to music. In             which The Guild Reporter is a          leveraged. The local boards and         able that the board’s initiatives
high-profile resignations. Demo-                                     a floor speech in March, shortly               member), a group not known for         most listeners reply that the           have been consistent with corpo-
cracy Now!, the network’s most                                       after the incident, he described the           its activism, unanimously adopted      national board is simply trying to      rate values of efficiency and max-
honored feature, on several occa-                                    “weird and frightening experience              a resolution May 23 that condemns      clone NPR—or worse.                     imizing resources. But such values
sions has been thrown off the air                                    of being gagged.”                              the network’s union-busting tactics        Whatever the merits of the          are not consistent with local con-
entirely, producer Amy Goodman,                                          Owens’ gagging, by all                     and violations of workers’ rights.     national board’s criticisms, there’s    trol, provocative debate and the
rebuked by management for her                                        accounts, was incidental to a                      At issue is a struggle between a   no question that the changes at         challenges to authority that have
aggressive questioning of Spike                                      broader gag rule at all Pacifica sta-          national board of directors that       Pacifica are being driven from the      characterized Pacifica over the
Lee about his Nike endorsements                                      tions that bans any on-air discus-             increasingly is dominated by cor-      top down—and those at the top are       years, including programs on such
and for asking Sen. Bob Kerrey if                                    sion of the network’s troubles.                porate interests, and local Pacifica   hardly cut from traditional             hot-button issues as sweatshops,
he thought it appropriate to set up                                  Ironically, the rule makes Pacifica            advisory boards and listeners. The     Pacifica cloth. Board chair Acosta      police brutality, prison growth and
a Vietnam War crimes tribunal.                                       virtually the only medium to                   national board insists that the five   is a certified public accountant in     corporate globalization.
    Indeed, Pacifica has become so                                   ignore those woes, now plastered               local stations are captives of in-     Houston who reportedly has sup-             The next battle appears to be
un-pacific that Rep. Major Owens                                     across the mainstream and pro-                 grown vested interests, that their     ported selling the Pacifica station     shaping up in New York for July 1,
held a Capitol Hill forum on the                                     gressive press. Even the executive             programming is amateurish, tired       in Berkeley or in New York. Board       when a special meeting of the
network after a WBAI show on                                         board of the International Labor               and doctrinaire and that the net-      member John Murdock is an attor-        national board will nominate mem-
which he was being interviewed                                       Communications Association (of                 work’s assets aren’t being fully       ney with Epstein, Becker &              bers for election to the board.
                                                                                                                                                           Green, a nationwide law firm that       Meanwhile, a campaign similar to
                                                                                                                                                           advertises its expertise in helping     the one that led to Palmer’s resigna-
         Some readers shouldn’t be crossed                                                                                                                 employers maintain “a union-free
                                                                                                                                                           workplace.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                   tion has been launched against vice-
                                                                                                                                                                                                   chair Ken Ford, who works for the
                                                                                                                                                               Former       board      treasurer   National Association of Home-

  W
            hen columnist Jim Dempsey wrote of a                                             was going back to straight reporting.
            convention “of men who dress exclusive-                                              Whitin “basically called the paper’s writing              Micheal Palmer, who resigned in         builders, a lobbying group that
            ly in black, not unlike pale-faced kids                                          coach a lousy writer,” fumed Kathy Shaw, chair of             mid-May after being targeted by         favors deregulation at the expense
  who call themselves Goths, and whose hero is a con-                                        the Worcester unit of the Providence Newspaper                Pacifica’s grassroots resistance, is    of environmental protection.
  victed criminal who received the death penalty,” he                                        Guild, which took up the issue on behalf of                   a vice president of CB Richard              A listener’s lawsuit seeking to
  could have been referring to the motorcyclists who                                         Dempsey.                                                      Ellis, the nation’s largest commer-     remove the board also is lurching
  were coming to town.                                                                           Unlike similar tales, however, this one has a             cial real estate services company;      forward, having traversed the arc
      He wasn’t. He was writing about a simultaneous                                         reasonably happy ending. Four weeks after the
                                                                                                                                                           its web site encourages clients to      from a petition to the California
  convention of priests.                                                                     offending column first appeared, a second Whitin
                                                                                             note defended his apology on behalf of the newspa-            “look south of the U.S. border” to      attorney general to federal court
      So perhaps it’s not surprising that some of the
  more conservative Roman Catholics in Worcester,                                            per—but apologized for coming across as critical              exploit cheap labor. Board mem-         and back to state court. And many
  Mass. let Telegram & Gazette editor Harry Whitin                                           of Dempsey and his writing style. “That was not               ber Bertram Lee, Sr. is a financier     affiliate stations that used to carry
  know what they thought about such irreverent                                               my intent,” he noted. “Had it been, I should have             specializing in media buyouts and       Pacifica programming have
  satire. What was surprising was Whitin’s response:                                         handled that privately.”                                      supports corporate underwiting of       switched to Free Speech Radio
  without even talking to Dempsey, he fired off a                                                The note topped Dempsey’s resurrected col-                Pacifica because “corporate dona-       News, produced by a band of for-
  public apology that said the column “came across                                           umn, which began: “So a priest and a motorcyclist             tions don’t bring with them any         mer Pacifica reporters who struck
  as mean-spirited, anti-Catholic and crude.” A few                                          walk into this bar. . .                                       control of any kind.”                   last year over censorship issues.
  days later, Dempsey quit the column and said he                                                “Just kidding, folks.”                                        Other corporate links also per-         Sometimes there’s a glimmer of
                                                                                                                                                           vade the board, so it’s unremark-       light even in the darkest shadows.


64-year-old TNG local votes to retire charter
B
        y a virtually unanimous vote (51 to                                    approving the merger, SCMG members                      current Guild members and bargaining              merger, however, is neither pragmatic nor
        1), members of the 64-year-old                                         voted to accept the larger local’s bylaws,              units, upholds their journalistic indepen-        philosophical but emotional: retiring the
        Southern California Media Guild                                        although the unit will remain part of the               dence and maintains the integrity of the          local’s charter after more than 60 years has
have approved a merger with CWA Local                                          Guild sector within CWA.                                frozen Press-Telegram pension plan, which         saddened some members, who have respond-
9400, which has more than 10,000 mem-                                              Leaders of the Guild local, historically            is being converted into an annuity or rolled      ed by assembling a “farewell” book of essays
bers. Mail-in ballots were counted June 11                                     known as the Los Angeles Newspaper                      into another plan.                                and remembrances. Contributions to the
in Long Beach, Cal.                                                            Guild, said they approved the agreement                     Perhaps most critically, from many            book are being solicited from current and
    Ratification of the merger by CWA’s                                        because “it gives media workers incredibly              Guild members’ perspective, the agreement         former members, and may be sent to:
executive board is expected at the July con-                                   more strength at the bargaining table and               acknowledges concerns about Local 9400’s          Southern California Media Guild, attention
vention in Minneapolis, at which time the                                      holds the promise of organizing the rest of             high political and social profile and recog-      Gary North, P.O. Box 769, Long Beach CA
Guild charter will be retired. Completion of                                   the Southland—and even other parts of the               nizes that Guild members may have to              90801; or send an email to gibbin@aol.com.
the merger may be delayed until September,                                     state, as 9400 is a statewide local.”                   remain disengaged from such activities for            For more information, call the local
however, to allow time for clearing up                                             At the same time, they added, the merger            journalistic reasons.                             office at 562-432-3888 or Gary North at
paperwork and other logistical details. In                                     safeguards continuity of representation for                 One of the biggest drawbacks to the           800-585-9368.

                                                              Official publication of




  Reporter                                                                                                               DAYBOOK                                          FROM THE MORGUE
            THE GUILD
                                                              The Newspaper Guild-CWA (AFL-CIO, CLC)
                                                              501 Third St., NW, Suite 250
                                                              Washington, D.C. 20001-2797
                                                              Telephone: (202) 434-7177 FAX: (202) 434-1472         Nat’l Assoc. Hispanic J’lists,         Fifty years ago this month:
                                                              E-mail: azipser@cwa-union.org
                                                                                                                     June 20-23, Phoenix                       Executive Vice President Sam Eubanks, completing his tenth year as
  Volume 68, Number 6                                                                        JUNE 15, 2001                                                 the Guild’s full-time administrator, announces he won’t seek reelection so
                               President: LINDA K. FOLEY
                                                                                                                    Pride at Work Convention,              he can devote himself full-time to promoting a national daily labor news-
                         Secretary-Treasurer: BERNIE LUNZER                                                           June 21-24, Everett, WA              paper. . . . The Guild petitions the Wage Stabilization Board to eliminate
                    International Chairperson: CAROL D. ROTHMAN                                                                                            wage controls in the newspaper and publishing industries, which are
                        Director, TNG Canada: ARNOLD AMBER
                                                                                                                    TNG Sector Conference,
                                                                                                                                                           exempt from price controls. . . . After six-and-a-half years as editor of The
                                                                                                                     July 5-7, Millennium Hotel,
  At-Large Vice Presidents:         Editor: Andy Zipser                           International Representatives:                                           Guild Reporter—at that point a record—Wilbur Bade says he’ll resign to
  Percy Hatfield                                                                  Michael R. Burrell,                Minneapolis
  Larry D. Hatfield
                                    Director,
                                                                                  Darren Carroll, Linda Cearley,
                                                                                                                                                           become executive secretary of Twin Cities Local 2. . . . The St. Louis Star
                                    Contract Administration:
  Regional Vice Presidents:         Marian V. Needham
                                                                                  Leo J. Ducharme,                  Annual CWA Convention,                 Times is closed, despite being profitable, throwing 500 out of work.
                                                                                  Bruce Meachum,
  Region 1—Lesley Phillips
                                    Executive Secretary,                          Jim Schaufenbil, Jay Schmitz       July 9-10, Minneapolis                Twenty-five years ago this month:
  Region 2—Connie Knox
  Region 3—Beverlyann Morris
                                    Contract Committee:
                                                                                  Administrative Staff:              Convention Center                         The Guild launches its first strike against Time Inc., following collapse
                                    Deborah W. Thomas
  Region 4—Russ Cain                                                              Scott Bush,
  Region 5—Peter Szekely            Director of Research,                         Gwendolyn Doggett,                Asian-American Journalists,            of bargaining, reaching a settlement 20 days later. . . . The newspaper
  Region 6—Jack Norman              Information & Technology:                     Dominique Edmondson,                                                     industry reports higher profits for fiscal 1975, with profit margins aver-
  Canada East—John Barker           Larkie Gildersleeve                           Malinka Franklin, Tina Harrison
                                                                                                                     Aug. 1-4, San Francisco
  Canada West—Scott Edmonds                                                                                                                                aging 8.7%—nearly twice the 4.6% average for U.S. manufacturing as a
                                    Human Rights Director:                        TNG Canada
  Director of Field Operations,     Anna M. Padia                                 Representatives:
                                                                                                                    Nat’l Assoc. Black Journalists,        whole; Knight Ridder’s profit margin is 5.5%. . . . Don Bolles, investiga-
  Administrative Assistant:
                                    Membership Coordinator:
                                                                                  David Esposti, David Wilson,       Aug. 22-26, Orlando                   tive reporter for the Arizona Republic, is murdered by a car bomb.
  Eric D. Geist                                                                   Dan Zeidler
                                    Bruce R. Nelson
  Administrative Assistant:                                                       Administrative Staff:             Nat’l Lesbian and Gay J’lists,         Ten years ago this month:
  Kathleen Mulvey                                                                 Marjoline Botsford,                Sept. 6-9, Dallas
                                                                                  Joanne Scheel
                                                                                                                                                              The Dayton Guild, frustrated by 19 months of fruitless bargaining,
                                                                                                                                                           launches a full-scale boycott of the Dayton Daily News. . . . Ruling in a
  (Articles may be reproduced freely in any non-profit publication, provided source is credited.)                   CLUW Biennial Convention,
                                                                                                                                                           case at Gannett’s Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, NY, an arbitrator
                                                                                                                     Oct. 4-7, Las Vegas
                                                AL

                                                 WA S
                                                           R
                                                     LIED P INTING
                                                    UNION
                                             TRADES LABEL COUNCIL

                                                        HI NGTON
                                                                                                                                                           declares that “it is certainly not misconduct for an employee to disagree
                                                                                                                    TNG Canada Rep. Council,               with an employer.” . . . Wire Service Guild members at financially ailing
                                  Printed by Mount Vernon Printing Co.
                                                                                                                     Oct. 26-28, Halifax                   UPI accept reduced wages for the third time in six months.

				
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posted:11/7/2012
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