Reporter THE GUILD August 17, 2007 A Publication of The Newspaper Guild and The Communications Workers of America • Volume 74, Number 8 As Murdoch prevails, news turmoil grows T o virtually no one’s surprise, a majority of the cap—speculation that was enhanced by its filing of a family that owns the controlling shares in Dow report with the Securities and Exchange Commission Jones Co. has agreed to sell them to News amending several employee compensation plans. Corp., ensuring that The Wall Street Journal and Although Gannett spokesmen quickly contended that Barron’s will become part of a media empire that the changes were routine, the wording was loose includes the New York Post and the Fox television net- enough to raise questions about a possible manage- work. But while News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch ment buyout. may be feeling elated, the buying and selling of news- Mentioned even more prominently—usually in the papers in recent years has been a decidedly treacher- context of a supposed interest by, yes, Rupert ous business. Murdoch—was the New York Times, which like Dow The Dow Jones deal, consummated within a rela- Jones has two classes of stock but which has been tively quick four months after the initial offer was first having its own financial problems. Indeed, an Aug. 13 publicized, has been valued at $5.6 billion, including Los Angeles Times story quoted a “longtime senior assumed debt. Stockholders are being offered the same executive” in the News Corp. camp as saying that $60 a share that News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch Murdoch “thinks the Times is vulnerable,” adding: COURTESY CHRIS LEE / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH tendered at the outset, but the controlling Bancroft fam- “He’s going to go after them.” ily did eke out one extra concession: an agreement that Well, maybe. But even if Murdoch doesn’t do any- the company would pay upwards of $30 million for the thing about the Times, there’s no question that the services of their legal and financial advisers, computed entire newspaper industry is in upheaval. Properties by Fortune senior editor Allan Sloan as worth an extra are changing hands at an unprecedented rate—the 22 $1.50 a share. local newspapers owned by Dow Jones are destined By comparison, Dow Jones stock had been trading for the auction block once News Corp. gets control— around $36 a share when Murdoch made his move. even as the deals that have already occurred look Moreover, the purchase price is more than 44 times increasingly questionable. per-share earnings, a premium so steep it discouraged Billionaire investor Sam Zell’s proposed acquisi- any competing bids. (As yet another comparison: the tion of Tribune Co., for example, reportedly is being entire Knight Ridder chain fetched just $4.6 billion threatened by a double-digit drop in revenue at the when McClatchy bought it 18 months ago.) Los Angeles Times and significant erosion at the Rick Hummel, giving acceptance speech in Cooperstown, NY. Murdoch’s successful siege of the supposedly chain’s other newspapers. The highly leveraged impregnable Dow Jones, following the recent, rapid- deal—Zell has put up only $50 million of his own ‘Commish’ tapped fire change in ownership of Reuters, Tribune Co and McClatchy, opened the floodgates of speculation about which newspaper giant would be next. Gannett, money to date, with the repurchase of shares to be financed largely by borrowing more than $11 billion– clearly is attracting ever more skepticism on Wall for baseball fame as one of the few remaining large newspaper compa- nies with a single class of stock, quickly surfaced as a possible candidate despite a hefty $11.2 billion market Street, which in recent weeks has knocked the com- pany’s share price down to around $26, off 24% from Continued on page 3 T he National Baseball Hall one day as a Hall of Fame play- of Fame now boasts a 36- er,” Hummel said. “But my year Newspaper Guild member as one of its honorees. dream, like those of many oth- ers, was cut short. Call it death More candidates step up T The Baseball Writers Asso- by curveball. Couldn’t hit it. aking a cue from the national officer of the Chicago Guild. ago: to be part of an inclusive ciation of America selected St. Couldn’t throw it. Couldn’t even scene, the TNG-CWA elec- Separately, Lillian Covarrubias, administration,” Lunzer said in pre- Louis Post-Dispatch sportswriter catch it. Couldn’t run very fast or tion season continues to heat president of the Toledo Guild, senting his running mates. “The Rick Hummel as the 2007 recip- hit with any power. But I bet I up at an unprecedent- announced her people on the ticket ient of the J.G. Taylor Spink can type faster than any of you ed early pace. candidacy for that I’m advancing Award, earning him a permanent guys up here.” At press time, TNG-CWA vice will help us achieve all place in the “Scribes and Hummel, a 1968 graduate of three new candidates president for those goals.” Mikemen” exhibit in the Hall of the University of Missouri had stepped forward region 3. The Rothman, who has Fame library. School of Journalism, worked for national office— incumbent vice served as international He was feted at the Hall of for the Colorado Springs Free and one had stepped president, Scott chair for the past 12 Fame induction ceremony, along Press/Sun while in the Army. He back. Carol Rothman Stephens, said at years, first joined the with former ballplayers Cal joined the Post-Dispatch in 1971 and Connie Knox the sector confer- Guild’s executive Ripken and Tony Gwynn and and began covering baseball in announced they are ence last month board as an at-large Kansas City Royals broadcaster 1973. running for secretary- Connie Knox that he had Carol Rothman vice president in 1983. Denny Matthews, the winner of “Many of the people you see treasurer and interna- agreed to run as A member of the the Ford C. Frick Award. behind me are here because they tional chairperson, respectively, on Foley’s running mate in a bid for Philadelphia Guild, she currently is Known as “Commish” to his had 3,000 hits or won 300 games a ticket with presidential candidate the secretary-treasurer post. local treasurer and a trustee for the colleagues, Hummel garnered or hit 500 home runs,” Hummel Bernie Lunzer. Lunzer currently is “When I announced my candi- pension and health/welfare plans. universal respect while covering said. “I’m here because I the Guild’s secretary-treasurer and dacy for president of The News- Knox, a member of the Wash- the U.S. national pastime for watched 4,000 games. I enjoyed is challenging incumbent Linda paper Guild-CWA back in May, I ington-Baltimore Guild, has been more than three decades. His almost every one of them—even Foley; Rothman currently is inter- promised to help revitalize locals, to on the executive board since 1991. passion also made him a local the one, the playoff game in national chair, while Knox is a build a strong Guild sector within She was a Baltimore unit chair in institution in St. Louis, a vibrant Philadelphia in 1980 when my regional vice president. CWA, to maintain our fine tradition the mid-1980s and again in 2003, baseball city. computer was kidnapped and Lunzer, Rothman and Knox are of democracy and rededicate and was the local’s vice president During his speech at the cer- held for ransom. The ransom running as the “Stronger Guild” myself to the pledge made 12 years for five years and president for 12. emony, Hummel reflected on his was only $300 in those days.” team. But the life of a sports jour- Providence Guild administrator career as a Cardinals beat writer and national baseball columnist nalist does have its rewards, too. Tim Schick, who had announced in Inside this issue for the Post-Dispatch and spoke “This is more than just a May that he was a candidate for dream come true,” Hummel said secretary-treasurer, simultaneously A farewell to two Guild staffers . . . page 2 about many of the Hall of Fame players in attendance. at the induction ceremony, withdrew his bid and said he would MediaNews out to bust the union . page 3 “It’s almost every kid’s “because I never could have instead co-chair the Stronger Guild dream to be sitting on this stage dreamt this.” campaign. Also chairing the effort Sector conference speeches . . . pages 6-7 is Jerry Minkkinen, administrative 2 THE GUILD REPORTER www.newsguild.org PASSAGES: Exit Meachum, the introvert five years—yet, in another example Guild briefs . . . By Mike Burrell TNG Staff Representative of irony, I was hired on TNG’s staff Court interpreters remains intent on shedding workers, Thomson is looking before he was. Yet now Bruce is gear up for strike elsewhere, encouraging appli- O ne weekday afternoon in retired and I’m—I’m still working Los Angeles-area members of cations from “recent graduates the early ’90s, Bruce Mea- for the international. the California Federation of with requisite interest.” chum dragged himself into As many of you know, Bruce Interpreters, a unit of the North- Translation: why hire unionized the office of the Denver News- bleeds the labor movement. He ern California Media Guild, have veterans with boatloads of paper Guild. He was sunburnt, was a union activist long before his voted more than 90% in favor of experience if you can sweep up weather-beaten, scruffy looking days with the Guild, dating back to a strike if court officials impose “energetic, smart candidates” and walking with a limp. I asked, his years with PATCO, the Pro- a new contract, as threatened at on the cheap? fessional Air Traffic Controllers press time. Although court man- “What the hell happened to you?” agement said it would give a He began to tell me how the state Organization. Unfortunately (but 4% wage increase, it has Can you spell of Iowa got the best of him during fortunately for the Guild) he and his return trip from the Guild con- his wife, Debbie, were both fired in refused to accept a key Guild ‘small minded’? proposal to create salary steps. Last month we reported on Al vention in Chicago. He and the 1981 by Ronald Reagan during the The interpreters are the only Arno’s arbitration victory at the then-president of the Denver local, PATCO strike. court employees without a St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a tri- Dave Krieger, rode their motorcy- After a failed attempt at owning salary structure that rewards umph made all the sweeter cles round-trip to the convention, a liquor store (Bruce owning a greater experience. when the St. Louis Board of from Denver to Chicago. liquor store! no wonder it failed) Aldermen declared July 19— The weather in Iowa on the he eventually landed a job as a dis- Bruce Meachum, kissed by the return trip was miserable, causing Orlando sun in 2002. trict manager at Denver’s Rocky 14 take buyouts at the day he was scheduled to return to work—to be “Al Arno Bruce to topple his bike, slightly Mountain News. Ultimately, his Pioneer Press . . . Day.” This month we have to injuring his leg. From that point on, Bruce referred to tenacity and leadership skills lead him to being hired The final count at the St. Paul report that the St. Louis Post- Iowa as the evil empire. as Denver’s administrative officer. Pioneer Press, which on July 27 Dispatch responded to these Ironically, I was born and raised in Iowa. Needless Bruce has a hard-charging, no nonsense persona. gave employees a scant week developments by informing to say, Iowa as well as numerous other subjects served If he is your enemy, he can be your worst. If he is your in which to accept buyouts Arno he’ll be working from before it would resort to layoffs: home and that any business he as topics of disagreements from the day I started friend, he can be your most loyal. 14 Guild members, including 10 may have to transact on behalf working with Bruce in the Denver office, where But now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret newsroom staffers. The paper of the Post-Dispatch will be Bruce was the administrative officer. I was on leave about Bruce. During a staff training session at the also reported laying off two conducted in the newspaper’s from my job at the Denver Post, working as an orga- George Meany Center in Silver Springs, Maryland, the part-time librarians and cutting nizer subsidized by The Newspaper Guild. staff was given a personality test—and Bruce’s results lobby. Classy outfit! “an unspecified number of open In many ways, we could be characterized as the indicated he is an introvert. Either that test was the jobs,” but has refused to say odd couple. I’m black, he’s white. I’m skinny, he’s world’s worst or Bruce has a closely guarded secret. whether layoffs will still be Staff votes 110-2 not. I’m diplomatic, he isn’t. But although we argued For those of us who’ve worked with Bruce, we needed and at press time did for Ridder to quit about everything, we worked very well together. He is know that he was one helluva rep. The void he leaves not know what health insurance Par Ridder, erstwhile publisher definitely my mentor. will be difficult to fill. On the other hand, he has benefits will be offered to buyout of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, We worked together in Denver for a total of almost earned his retirement. I wish him well. recipients eligible to retire. broke an unwritten rule when he took the same position at . . . as 60 buyouts the rival Minneapolis Star Thomas out on a high note sought in St. Louis The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Tribune. But he may have bro- ken far more tangible rules by advancement and accomplish- taking corporate records with By Kathy Mulvey Brennan announced Aug. 2 it will offer a ments, I need to take you back to him, as alleged in an ongoing TNG Director, Contract Admin. buyout package to the first 60 January 2, 1979, when Deborah B. trial, and he clearly sent an eth- people who apply for it, with ical shudder through the Star Y oung enough to enjoy White was hired as a key punch most applicants expected to be retirement, smart enough operator. Not long after, Debbie got Tribune newsroom: on July 17, drawn from management and the Guild-represented employ- to actually retire, old her “union legs” and became assis- Guild ranks. The offer includes tant shop steward for her OPEIU ees voted 110-2 to urge Ridder enough to have been part of the two weeks’ pay for every year to resign, claiming he has Guild’s evolution and of the revo- bargaining unit, marking the start of of service, with a minimum of “damaged the Star Tribune’s lution of women (and in particular, her union advocacy. 26 and maximum of 52; full credibility and integrity and African-American women), bridg- A promotion in 1984 to key pension rights; and lifetime undermined our ability to hold ing the gap between clerical and punch operator II and two letters medical coverage. public figures accountable for professional in the Guild work- of commendation for her “invalu- their actions.” force—that’s how I would able input in the revising and Detroit TA agrees describe Debbie Thomas, who restructuring of TNG’s member- retired on July 31after 28 years of ship program” started her “upward to concessions New alliance service to the Guild. mobility,” as we called it in those The Detroit Guild has reached a forged in Canada tentative albeit concessionary CWA/SCA Canada and the To highlight Debbie’s career days. Debbie took another step agreement on a new three-year United Steelworkers signed a upward when she married Charles contract with Independent strategic alliance at the CWA SUBSCRIPTION “the dancin’ fool” Thomas and Newspapers, the Journal gave birth to a handsome son, convention in Toronto, where INFORMATION Debbie Thomas, at the TNG Register-owned publisher of Steelworkers President Leo The Guild Reporter (ISSN: 00175404) Chris. the Macomb Daily and the (CPC # 1469371) is issued monthly, In 1993, she broke the barrier Sector Conference in 2002. Royal Oak Daily Tribune. Gerard—also a Canadian—was generally at four-week intervals, at between clerical and professional churned right in our kitchen every a guest speaker. The alliance 501 Third St. NW, Washington, D.C. Acknowledging the two papers pledges the two unions to work 20001. staffs by getting promoted to summer. (You should know that at are mired in serious economic together on issues of common Periodicals postage paid in Wash- Collective Bargaining and CWA headquarters, the Guild is problems, the agreement interest in Canada and globally. ington, D.C., and additional mailing Research Associate, and in 2001 most renowned for the quantity— includes 2% wage increases offices. Printed in the U.S. she became Execu- and quality—of food next July and in July, 2009, as Postmaster: Send address changes tive Secretary of the that passes through well as a $750 signing bonus; Affirmed: faculty or requests to stop delivery to: The Guild Reporter, c/o Melané Miller, Contracts Commit- our office.) the last contract expired Jan. are not managers Communications Workers of tee. Finally, in May Finally, I will 31. The agreement also contin- A regional director for the America, 501 Third St. NW, 2004, Debbie was remember her most ues the existing health plan but National Labor Relations Board Washington, D.C. 20001 transferred into the for her beautiful, sil- with higher co-payments and has concluded for a second Canada: Publications mail agree- position of Director ver-toned voice, a deductibles. A ratification meet- time that full-time faculty mem- ment No. 40032108 ing was scheduled for Aug. 26. bers at Point Park University in of Human Rights, blessed talent that Return undeliverable Canadian Pittsburgh are not managers as addresses to: P.O. Box 503, RPO which she held until Debbie shared many West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, her retirement. times, but none more Thomson slights defined by labor law, and there- ON L4B 4R6 But what Deb- movingly than when fore qualify for representation Subscribers: Address changes and experienced staff by the Pittsburgh Guild. The bie’s colleagues at she led us in the Ray Even before its proposed delivery stops may be e-mailed to: TNG-CWA head- Charles rendition of 63-page ruling is the latest in a email@example.com. acquisition of Reuters has got- series of rulings against the Subscription: $20 a year in U.S. quarters cherish most “God Bless America” ten regulatory approval—still university, which has been bat- and Canada, $30 a year overseas. about her is the at the CWA Conven- months away—Thomson Corp. tling its employees ever since Send subscription orders to: Thomas’ “hot Mary- A familiar sight: Debbie tion shortly after the is hiring more journalists world- Jay West, TNG-CWA, 501 Third they voted overwhelmingly for land crab dip”—that, belting out the national September 11 tragedy. wide. But while Reuters Guild representation—in 2003. Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 and the homemade anthem at a CWA con- Thanks, Deb—and Single copies: $1.50 ice cream that was vention. enjoy! AUGUST 17, 2007 THE GUILD REPORTER 3 Buffalo finds route to early contract I t’s a cliché to preach about turning agreed to bargaining in which just four lemons into lemonade, but the Buffalo issues would be negotiated: wages, health Newspaper Guild has done just that by care, district manager wages and editorial negotiating a new contract fully a year interns. The tentative agreement, reached Aug. 1, extends the contract three additional COURTESY RON LEWIS / SAN MATEO COUNTY TIMES before the current pact expires. It did so by getting ahead of the curve on rising health years, to July 31, 2011, with the following care costs, convincing management at the changes: Buffalo News that it could save a significant • Wage increases of 2% on Aug. 1 of amount of money by moving quickly. 2008 and 2009, but no increase in the last Key to the unusually early agreement year. Full-time employees will receive an was a realization by local leaders that the $1,100 bonus ($550 for part-timers) this company could achieve major savings if it January, plus a previously negotiated wage switched from a community-rated health increase of 2%. insurance plan—which calculates premium • The News will continue to offer at least and other costs based on a region’s overall three health insurance plans, with the com- health care costs— to an experience-rated pany fully paying for the least expensive one. one, which looks at the actually claims his- The base plan will continue the current cov- tory of plan participants. With Buffalo News erage and co-pays, but adds domestic partner employees filing lower health care claims coverage and coverage of dependent students Five employees of the San Mateo County Times show off their red solidarity t-shirts. per plan participant than the overall western to age 25. On the down side, the base plan New York population, the experience-rated approach looked like a sure-fire winner. Additional savings could be achieved if includes a $500 in-patient deductible, but $400 of that can be reimbursed by the local from a pool of money provided by the News MediaNews shuffle an the company switched to a single plan provider, as opposed to an existing menu of under the last agreement. • A change in the maximum employment attempt to oust union N 14 health plan choices provided by three dif- of editorial interns from four months to six, ewspaper “clustering,” developed Group-East Bay. ferent carriers. in line with the limit set on other kinds of largely by MediaNews, saves Thus far the change is largely a paper If management made both changes temporary employees. money by combining the operations exercise, with only a small number of before the existing contract expired, Guild • Loss of the top two steps in wage pro- of several newspapers under one roof. Now employees being relocated. But in a letter to leaders calculated, the savings would be gression for district managers, reducing the it’s being wielded to bust unions, too. Guild leaders, Marshall Anstandig, the com- enough to continue the same level of health top minimum (before annual increases) to The company that last year scooped up pany’s attorney, contends that as a result of care coverage for three additional years $884 from $1,100. The local also agreed to a virtually all of the daily and weekly newspa- its corporate restructuring the ANG bargain- without additional costs—a clear benefit to new part-time district manager job, for pers ringing San Francisco announced Aug. ing unit “constitutes significantly less than both the News and its employees. On the delivering down routes and missed papers, 13 that it no longer recognizes the Northern 50% of the newly consolidated editorial other hand, the local did not want to renego- that pays $17-$18 an hour. In return, the California Newspaper Guild as the collec- group of BANG-East Bay” and therefore tiate the entire contract more than a year local won an early incentive retirement for tive bargaining representative for employees “we can no longer recognize the Guild” as a before its expiration. Would management be district managers and won permanent of the Oakland Tribune and four other news- bargaining representative of its employees. willing to engage in extremely circum- employment for four long-time temporary papers. The five publications, part of the Anstandig’s letter came three days after scribed negotiations, limited to just a hand- district managers. An additional provision Alameda Newspaper Group, have been the local, apprised of what was coming, filed ful of issues, in exchange for potentially sav- guarantees that no current district managers “consolidated” with the nonunionized an unfair labor practices charge with the ing some money? will be transferred out of their jobs without Contra Costa Newspapers and Hills News- National Labor Relations Board and sought Management was, and so the two sides their consent. papers into a new entity, the Bay Area News an injunction to block the withdrawal of recognition. Will Baudler, regional attorney Newspaper industry in turmoil Continued from page 1 with the NLRB’s Oakland office, said an investigation has been started. Anstandig’s letter also drew a sharp rebuke from local representative Carl Hall, the transaction price of $34. whose responding letter charged Media- Meanwhile, the deal could still be torpe- doed by the Federal Communications High payouts don’t extend to IAPE News with making “a grave error.” “Your citing of numbers and percentages don’t Commission, which has been asked to waive While negotiations over the $5.6 billion sale of Dow Jones were wrapped up mask what I consider to be a blatant attempt restrictions on cross-ownership of newspa- within a mere four months, the company apparently finds negotiating a contract to destroy a 20-year tradition of progressive pers and television stations in the same mar- with its employees much more complicated. Although IAPE (TNG-CWA Local 1096) labor relations in the East Bay news indus- has been at the table since last fall, management continues to insist on low-balling ket. And Tribune’s shareholders haven’t yet try,” Hall wrote. “Given the challenges our any proposed raises while sharply increasing employees’ health care costs, result- weighed in on the sale: they’re scheduled to ing in a stand-off that didn’t thaw even in a recent round of off-the-record talks. business faces, it’s unfortunate the company vote late this month. The IAPE bargaining team has calculated that a decent wage increase would is pursuing this losing strategy rather than While every additional week of delay cost Dow Jones less than $4 million a year; the package on the table, on the the pattern of good faith bargaining we have seems to be working to the disadvantage of other hand, would cost the average IAPE member $7,300—after inflation—over tried so hard to build.” pending deals, as ad revenues and circula- four years. Such penny-pinching stands in sharp contrast to the millions of dol- Guild members and their supporters tion numbers keep sliding, those deals that lars that have been tossed around in the course of Rupert Murdoch’s pursuit, throughout the region wore red shirts on Aug have gone through are just as vulnerable to including $30 million to the Bancroft family for advisors and tens of millions more 13 to express their support of the union. economic constriction. Bloomberg colum- in special severance benefits for senior executives. “This is good old-fashioned union busting,” nist Jonathan Weil observed last month that “As it stands now, the company proposal would mean real—and significant— declared an ANG unit memo promoting the declines in your income each year,” IAPE President Steven Yount wrote to local McClatchy’s stock had lost almost a third in protest. members earlier this month. Indeed, newsroom employees are now contending value a year after it acquired Knight that if they are going to have to work for News Corp. “they deserve more pay, not Hall’s reference to progressive labor rela- Ridder—and that’s after selling off the parts less,” Yount added in another update. tions notwithstanding, MediaNews has it didn’t want, ostensibly because they didn’t Although IAPE reported “progress” in its three off-the-record meetings with never embraced good faith bargaining in the fit the rapid-growth profile of its portfolio. Dow Jones in July, “suddenly, to our surprise, progress stopped.” Company nego- Bay Area. Although ANG workers voted for The most telling sign of McClatchy’s tiators subsequently walked out of an Aug. 7 on-the-record bargaining session, Guild representation in 1987, it took them problems—and that of virtually any newspa- “telling us they weren’t interested in hearing what we had to say,” Yount said. In until 1998 to get MediaNews to agree to a per buyer—is the $3.59 billion entry on its response, editorial employees across the nation walked off the job—temporarily— first contract. The most recent contract books for “goodwill,” a magical accounting Aug. 14 to drive home the point that without them, Murdoch hasn’t bought much. expired in July, but despite ongoing contract device to make assets balance liabilities. negotiations “there was no indication during “Goodwill” is employed when someone pays the course of the meetings we had that they more for a company than its tangible assets early 1980s; McClatchy’s goodwill is bigger The implications of all these numbers are were going to jerk the rug out from under are worth—as Murdoch did in buying Dow than shareholder equity and 63% higher than not good for newspaper employees, who us,” Doug Cuthbertson, the local’s executive Jones, for example. The fact that an asset is its market capitalization, indicating that Wall remain the industry’s single largest expense officer, told trade journal Editor & Publisher. intangible doesn’t mean it isn’t worth any- Street doesn’t place the same value on it that category. While Murdoch’s pockets at a Guild officials also are looking at the pos- thing: Murdoch, for example, is banking that management has. superficial glance look deep enough to sibility of launching an organizing campaign the prestige of the Dow Jones name and the In a similar pickle, albeit on a smaller absorb the Dow Jones acquisition without within the newly “consolidated” organiza- Wall Street Journal’s reputation for excellent scale, is Lee Enterprises, which paid $1.46 bil- having to lop payroll—indeed, reports are tion. Of approximately 130 ANG employees, business journalism is worth the premium lion in 2005 to acquire the Pulitzer chain. that he plans to beef up staffing, especially 80 or so are Guild members; the non-union- he’s paying. But too much goodwill on the Earlier this year it was still carrying $1.5 bil- overseas—other owners with fewer ized newspapers add another 170. Reaching books can overwhelm a company, as it did lion in goodwill, or nearly twice its recent resources may be expected to keep hacking majority status therefore would require during the savings and loan scandals in the market capitalization of $796 million. away. recruiting at least another 70 to 80 members. 4 THE GUILD REPORTER www.newsguild.org Forget sub-prime crisis: News round-up big worry is productivity Justice delayed is justice denied 1.5% annual rate over the period—equal to the pro- A July 18 report from the National Labor Relations Board’s By Andy Zipser ductivity stagnation that ran from 1973 to 1995, and Inspector General concludes that board delays in deciding cases Editor, The Guild Reporter are adversely affecting workers’ rights. The IG found it is taking the a full percentage point below the 2.5% growth rate A NLRB an average of 914 days to decide unfair labor practice s the newspaper economy grows ever more from 1995 to 2004. charges filed by an individual and a union, 653 days to decide dire—replete with layoffs and buyouts, wage Growth in productivity, which measures the value cases filed just by a union, 490 days for cases filed just by an indi- stagnation and loss of pension benefits—the of the goods and services produced by an average vidual—but only 381 days to decide cases filed by employers. wider U.S. economy is itself shuddering on a cusp, worker in an hour of work, is key to increasing stan- prepared to tip into recession. Or not. dards of living. If productivity doesn’t increase, College grads better stay healthy Judging by the rhetoric emanating out of the White there’s no additional wealth to spread around Over the recent recession and recovery, employed college gradu- House, business is peachy—good enough, in fact, to (whether it does, or ends up concentrated in just a few ates between 23 and 27 years old have become increasingly less revisit the idea of more tax cuts. The Federal Reserve hands, is another question altogether). Indeed, from a likely to receive employer-provided health insurance, according to also seems unconcerned about any perturbations, macro viewpoint, layoffs that don’t reduce the output an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. Indeed, employ- expressing more concern about the specter of inflation of goods and services are a good thing because now ment-based health coverage for recent college grads has been than economic stagnation, even though we’ve seen those workers are freed to produce something else, falling since 1983-84, when it was at a high of 80%, to today’s much more of the latter over the past 15 years. But increasing overall wealth that much more. incidence of 60.5%—a 25% decline over two decades. even without the meltdown in sub-prime loans and Conversely, a slowdown in productivity growth is their contagion of fiscal markets worldwide, there is a not good—in fact, writes Dean Baker, an economist Retirement becomes less affordable growing body of evidence that all is not well. and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy A new study says nearly half of Americans won’t be able to main- For starters, unemployment remains stubbornly Research, it is “a very bad sign.” And it’s even worse tain their standards of living when they retire. The Center for in the context of declining job quality and economic higher than when George Bush took office—1.17 mil- Retirement Research at Boston College reports that 20% of polarization. lion higher, as of July. Which means that years of American households ages 51 to 61 were deemed at risk for “recovery” since the Bush recession earlier this “The argument for conservative economic policy retirement—defined as those unable to maintain their pre-retire- decade still haven’t restored employment to full was always that by giving people more incentive to ment standard of living—when they were studied 15 years ago, health, and the job growth that has occurred hasn’t work and invest, productivity would grow more rapidly, rising to 32% in 2004. Meanwhile, the percentage of workers of all ages who won't have enough saved for retirement soared to 45%. kept pace with population growth. Moreover, those and that this would benefit everyone in the long run,” jobs that are being created continue to crop up dispro- he explains. “It turns out, even with the massive Minimum wage to get another boost? portionately—almost 60% of all new jobs—in the upward redistribution of income over the last quarter Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who spent a decade trying to raise the low-paying health-care and restaurant end of the ser- century, productivity is now growing at its slowest nation’s minimum wage before Congress finally did so this year, has vice sector. pace in the post-war period. In short, we are not see- introduced a new bill that would raise the minimum wage to $9.50 The manufacturing sector, meanwhile, continues ing much growth—and the growth we are seeing is an hour by 2011 and index it to inflation after that. If adopted, the to shed jobs—another 2,000 in July—reflecting an going to those at the top.” new minimum wage would be approximately 50% of the average overall loss of steam. Although manufacturing grew The issue also has attracted concern from the hourly wage, a ratio it hasn’t seen in more than than 30 years. in July for the sixth consecutive month, the expansion Center for American Progress, which on Aug. 3 was the slowest since March, according to the released a report titled, “Ignoring Productivity at Our Pay discrimination bill passes House Institute for Supply Management. Indeed, the insti- Peril.” Written by Dr. Christian Weller and Amanda Disregarding a Bush regime veto threat, the Democratic-run House tute’s manufacturing index, which reflects the opin- Logan, the report observes that low productivity gains has approved the so-called “Lilly Ledbetter Act,” designed to cir- ions of purchasing managers, declined to 53.8 in July give business executives disincentives to invest in cumvent a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that workers could sue for from 56.0 in June, confounding a Wall Street consen- their businesses, thereby hampering further productiv- pay discrimination only within a narrow six-to-nine month window. sus forecast of no change. An index reading above 50 ity growth, which means “a virtuous cycle is in dan- The 225-199 vote—opposed by only six Democrats and supported indicates growth, while one less than 50 indicates a ger of becoming a vicious cycle.” by only two Republicans—was prompted by the case of a contraction. Baker, Weller and Logan all argue that govern- Goodyear Tire Co. supervisor who didn’t discover until 20 years ment policy intervention is needed to avert an eco- Slow job growth also puts downward pressure on after the fact that she had been paid considerably less than male nomic implosion, with Baker contending that “the wage growth, so it should come as no surprise that co-workers with the same duties. Goodyear, meanwhile, has here, too, there is a measurable cooling: hourly earn- policy of of redistributing income upwards has been a dunned Ledbetter—who is retired and lives on a small pension and ings, before accounting for inflation, rose by 0.3% in clear failure, insofar as its goal was to increase Social Security— for $3,165.20 in legal expenses.—PAI July—slightly less than in previous months—while income growth.” But as Weller and Logan observe, AFL-CIO decides not to endorse weekly earnings were flat. And, in fact, that’s been policymakers face a dual challenge: “Businesses will The AFL-CIO Executive Council has turned its member unions pretty much the case for years: in June 2007, infla- not invest unless incomes rise faster than they have loose to make presidential primary endorsements, saying the feder- tion-adjusted hourly earnings were just 2.3% higher recently, which means policymakers need to ensure ation “decided not to proceed with a decision process that would than in March 2001, at the start of the Bush recession; that workers can see more gains from a growing econ- lead to support for a single candidate at this time.” In a statement inflation-adjusted weekly earnings were only 1.8% omy in the form of faster job growth and higher wage approved by the council Aug. 8, the day after it hosted a debate higher. No wonder consumption spending has finally growth. between seven Democratic hopefuls at the city’s football stadium, started to peter out. “At the same time,” they continue, “policymakers the federation praised all the contenders and said “trade unionists But the most disturbing statistic to emerge in must create additional incentives for companies to met with the next president of the United Sates and six other candi- recent weeks was a Commerce Dept. revision of eco- invest in new technologies appropriate for a creative dates.” No Republicans were invited to the debate because, the nomic growth data for the past three years. The U.S. economy that remains on the cutting edge of federation said, none would answer its questionnaire. revised data imply that productivity grew at only a global innovation.” Deadline extended for 9-11 disability The deadline for anyone involved in rescue, recovery or cleanup efforts at the Word Trade Center to reserve their rights to possible workers’ compensation has been extended by a year, to Aug. 13, Olberman: Guild saved 2008. Although it remains unclear whether reporters and other news staffers who covered the rescue effort will qualify for workers’ comp if they develop respiratory or other ailments linked to the site, those my broadcasting career [Prior to moderating the AFL-CIO’s presidential lunch and walked in on the tail end of this. Then my who were in the area should file to preserve their rights. For detailed candidates’ forum Aug. 7, MSNBC’s Keith Olberman boss went into this guy’s office, which he often did to information, visit www.nycosh.org or call a toll-free, 24-hour hotline was interviewed by one of the federation’s bloggers, cool down and say “oh, that Olberman….”At this at 866-WTC-2556. Mike Hall. Herewith a particularly relevant excerpt:] point the boss’s boss…came in and fired me on the spot and said “you don’t give the managers no lip. Circulation growing—just not in U.S. In your various stops, you’ve carried a union You get your stuff and get out of here.” Newspaper circulation is swooning in the U.S., but worldwide it con- tinues to creep upward. The World Association of Newspapers card. Tell me what that’s meant to you. I had the next days off anyway, this was Monday reports that paid circulation increased 2.3% globally in 2006, com- and I was back at work on Thursday. He had received pared with a 1.9% drop in the U.S., and is up 9.5% over the past One anecdote from early in my career sums that a reprimand and had been sent home. I received a let- five years. Similarly, newspaper ad revenue grew 3.8% worldwide in up. I was 21 years old and in my first professional job ter in my files that said, “Don’t yell at the managers.” 2006, compared with a 1.7% decline in the U.S. in this business, with a radio network that used to be He basically fired me because he was drunk and attached to United Press International, back when UPI didn’t like me. And it’s as simple as this; if that had Federal shield law takes first step was the rival to The Associated Press. . . . It was not been a union operation, if there had been no Wire A first step toward a national shield law was taken Aug. 1, when the quite a break for me to be working in New York. Service Guild (now the News Media Guild), if we had House Judiciary Committee approved the Free Flow Information I had a boss who treated me very well and we used not set certain brakes on the unilateral nature of what Act (HR 2102); similar legislation (S 1267) is awaiting Senate action. to have these animated discussions–I won’t call them employers can and cannot do, I don’t know if I would More than 40 media companies and organizations, including The arguments, but we’ll call them animated discus- have ever gotten another job. . . . I was up for a local Newspaper Guild-CWA, have been lobbying on behalf of the pro- sions–about what I should and shouldn’t be doing. job in New York. . . . I know they didn’t seriously posal, which would extend limited rights to journalists to protect He was willing to listen to my point of view even if consider me for the position afterwards . . . if that fir- their confidential sources. we started to raise our voices. One day our voices ing had held I might not have been able to continue in got raised and his boss came back from a liquid broadcasting. AUGUST 17, 2007 THE GUILD REPORTER 5 CWA leaders stress diversity, coalitions By Mark Gruenberg extra mile to ensure our governing body Editor, Press Associates Inc. reflects our membership. “The issue before us today is really a L eaders and delegates to CWA’s mid- matter of morality . . . of fairness . . . of jus- July convention in Toronto made it tice . . . of democracy,” she added. “Diver- clear that they view greater diversity sity is equally important for a practical rea- and coalition-building—with unions, commu- son, as well: It makes us stronger, more nity groups, in effective and more powerful. The broader politics and the perspectives we bring to the executive elsewhere—as board, the smarter the decisions we will key to achiev- make. The more our leaders reflect our ing labor’s members, the more responsive we will be to goals. their needs.” The most- CWA President Larry Cohen concentrated concrete his time at the podium on coalition-building expression of and organizing, announcing that the union’s this outlook “Stewards Army”—a concept he has came with del- extended to the entire AFL-CIO—now num- egate approval bers more than 20,000 and has already started for expanding showing on-the-ground successes. One was Lise Lareau, president of the 19-mem- the Canadian Media enlisting union members to lobby for con- ber CWA Exe- Guild, welcomes CWA gressional passage of the Employee Free ALL PHOTOS THIS PAGE BY BILL BURKE/WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE GUILD cutive Board delegates to Toronto. Choice Act, which the new Democratic-run by four at- House approved, 241-185. A GOP filibuster IAPE President Steve Yount, with TNG-CWA President Linda Foley and CWA President large seats, designated for women and killed it in the Senate, even though it got a Larry Cohen looking on, accepts the President’s Award for the local’s organizing efforts minorities, starting Sept. 1. The board cur- 51-48 majority. The bill, which needed 60 over the past year. This was the first time a TNG local received CWA’s highest honor. rently has only one African-American and votes to stop the talkathon, would help level General Electric, increasing wages, benefits But the coalition-building and the orga- four women serving, even though the union is the playing field between workers and bosses and—for the first time in years—pensions. nizing must continue, Cohen said, because more than 20% minority and 40% female. in organizing and bargaining. “GE even agreed to consider joining other labor’s goals can be achieved only with the “We haven’t always practiced what we’ve Another victory cited by Cohen, on a state CWA employers in working with us for uni- help of a worker-friendly Congress and a preached” about diversity and equality, level, was the Stewards Army’s role in help- versal health care,” Cohen noted. president who will lobby for, and push admitted Secretary-Treasurer Barbara ing Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine “sus- He also cited the union’s community through, the Employee Free Choice Act. Easterling in bringing the proposal to dele- tain his veto” of legisla- activism and its success in Cohen also discussed the Strategic gates. “Simple equity demands we shatter tion, pushed through by gaining community allies Industries Fund, designed to undertake and glass ceilings wherever they exist and go the the General Assembly’s for its causes. Notable, he pay for massive, industry-wide organizing dri- GOP majority, “aimed said, were “health care ves on issues and in sectors the union repre- right at (aiding) Verizon's members of Local 1168 in sents. Nine such drives have already been plan to dump customers in Buffalo (who) walked 300 identified. “These campaigns are daring to rural Virginia, just like it’s miles across New York in shape our industries, reform health care in trying to do in the the dead of winter to America, challenge journalism’s decline and Midwest and New Eng- protest the scheduled clos- develop a new trade agenda for North land,” Cohen said. ing of their hospitals. America,” he told delegates. “Each campaign “Our Stewards Army CWAers in every city is based on strengthening our bargaining joined forces with IBEW along the way joined them power by moving from defense to more to wage our ‘Stop the and marched with them, offense, creatively working to solve the prob- Sale’ campaign, with and elected officials lems we face—not just mobilizing our anger.” members of Congress, Larry Vellequette thanks dele- joined the protest, too.” One SIF campaign, Speed Matters, is gates for their support during governors and other the Toledo Blade lockout. Also acknowledged were lobbying for state and federal legislation to elected leaders speaking 500 Comcast workers in bring high-speed broadband telecom and out against dumping customers and workers Pittsburgh—newly represented by CWA— Internet access and service nationwide. It in exchange for a $700 million tax windfall who joined other CWA members at Verizon, features 25,000 stewards “talking to their UPAGRA delegate Luis Quintana sings for Verizon,” he explained. plus the Steelworkers, to form a new Jobs neighbors about union versus non-union car- the Puerto Rican anthem to help kick off Cohen also cited the 11-union coalition with Justice coalition in the Pittsburgh area riers and debating the policy direction of the the CWA convention. that recently negotiated a new contract with the week before the convention. telecom industry,” Cohen explained. A little face-to-face can head off arbitration employees and whether classified employ- the classified ad reps had stories about how our members,’’ O’Brien said. By Ray Pitlyk Chief Steward, Albany Guild ees had specific customers assigned to them. the use of Classifieds Plus was hurting cus- Initially, the company responded to the They also refused to detail how many calls tomer service: front-desk ad workers unable complaints by setting up a computer interface S ometimes, simple is smart. As evi- were being handled by Classifieds Plus. to handle walk-in business because they for the Classified Plus workers, freeing up dence, consider the Albany Newspaper Although the Guild cited a previous arbitra- were dealing with Classifieds Plus mistakes; Times union employees to resume answering Guild’s success in convincing Times tion ruling to show some company argu- customers complaining they were getting phones and taking ads. Support staff also was Union management to change its use of ments were irrelevant and presented a strong lost in the Classifieds Plus phone system. assigned to handle some of the other clerical Classifieds Plus, a private contractor that case overall, the company refused to change One frustrated customer called the Times duties linked to Classifieds Plus. handles classified ad calls for papers all over its position. Union city desk and asked to be connected More recently, our members have been the country. That forced us to file for arbitration, to a human being in advertising after being told to do everything in their power to make Classifieds Plus had been handling which finally got management’s attention. bounced around the Classifieds Plus phone sure they get to calls before they roll over to Times Union classified calls for some time With the company anxious to avoid arbi- system. Classifieds Plus. As a result, the number of on weekends and after regular work hours, tration, O’Brien arranged to have classified All the ad reps stressed that customer calls taken by the contractor has dropped, but the Guild didn’t complain initially members and Guild officers meet with com- service was getting worse with the use of which means the number of ad corrections because we had no contract language to bar pany managers to explain why they were so Classifieds Plus. also has dropped. Some members now think the practice—and besides, it wasn’t affect- upset about the use of Classifieds Plus. During the discussion, General Manger it is only a matter of time before the con- ing our members. But last year a classified “Employees explained how they were George Hearst asked one of the advertising tractor is dismissed entirely—perhaps when staffer was moved to a different job and not spending their time correcting mistakes department mangers if the use of Classifieds the Classified Plus contract expires. replaced, effectively ceding the work he had made by Classifieds Plus. As a result, they Plus had reduced the rate of lost ad calls With these changes, the Guild withdrew been doing to Classifieds Plus. And that could not get on the phone to take calls because no one could get to the phone fast the grievance without prejudice and sent the changed everything. themselves and were losing commissions,” enough. The company’s own numbers company a letter stating that the union “Our contract does not allow the company O’Brien said. “Imagine having the company showed there had been virtually no change would continue to monitor the use of this to displace employees and hand their work hand your work and commissions to some- with the use of Classifieds Plus. In fact, there independent contractor. to independent contractors,” explained our one else and then asking you to fix that per- was a fractional increase in missed calls. “The Guild reserved our right to re-file local’s president, Tim O’Brien. “Workers do son’s mistakes. That’s what happened here.’’ “The company appeared quite surprised the grievance if the company’s use again not have to be let go for the contract lan- One classified employee described how to learn that it was getting no benefit from violated the contract,” O’Brien said. “This guage to be violated.” she spent her entire workday typing the use of this contractor. It took time and grievance required a great deal of patience When we filed a grievance, company Classifieds Plus ad orders into the Times persistence, but our local and especially our on the part of our employees, but in the end officials responding by questioning how Union ad system because there was no com- classified sales staff made a convincing case they saw how speaking up for themselves many people could be considered classified puter interface between the two systems. All that the best people to handle these calls are through their union made a difference.” 6 COMMENTARY www.newsguild.org ‘We must do that which we think we cannot’ By Linda Foley, President not. But first, we must do that which we think life, we all cried. we can. We can access resources to fund cam- When those same Guild members in San C anadian com- favorite Guild members—that is, to one of my paigns like our project with the University of Jose, along with those in Monterey, St. Paul, munications favorite deceased Guild members. (I have no Maryland on the future of our news industry Denver, Alameda County, Los Angeles, theorist Mar- favorite living Guild member; you’re all jobs. We can launch organizing drives in cities Detroit and York, Pa. decided to stand togeth- shall McLuhan said, equally terrific in my eyes. That’s because you like Milwaukee to protect our work from out- er to fight MediaNews and its union-baiting “The real news is bad all vote.) My favorite deceased Guild member sourcing. We can get the CRTC to scrutinize bullies, we all stood up. news.” And the real is Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a member of the pending merger of CanWest and Alliance When the Tribune Co. and the Guild news is especially bad for the news business the Guild for more than 25 years, joining in Atlantis. We can use Berger Marks Founda- reached a settlement at the Baltimore Sun that these days. 1937 when she wrote a syndicated column in tion money to organize Lee newspapers. We preserved nearly everything we fought for On June 18, Morgan Stanley reported to New York City called can provide an alterna- over years of contract bargaining, we all did a investors that newspaper ad revenue is expect- “My Day.” tive for employers who little victory dance. Text of speeches given by Mrs. Roosevelt said ed to be down 4.7% this year. Classified the Guild’s three top officers at want to shut down When our members at the Toledo Blade advertising is already off by—get this— this about other hard their defined benefit and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette took massive times during her day: the annual sector conference 11.8%; retail is down 2.2% and national is pension plans. We can cuts in pay and benefits to save their newspa- down 3.2%. Online advertising, meanwhile, “We gain strength, and Friday, July 13, in Toronto. have a more inclusive pers and the jobs of fellow union members, which accounts for only a small fraction of the courage, and confi- (Arnold Amber did not have a union. We can bring we all gritted our teeth. industry’s revenue stream, is up 16%. “We are dence by each experi- prepared text; his remarks will diversity to all levels of When the Boston Newspaper Guild adjusting our newspaper company models ence in which we really be published when the confer- the Guild and the protested outsourcing at the Globe, we all accordingly,” Morgan Stanley told its clients. stop to look fear in the ence transcipt is completed.) CWA. raised our voices in outrage. And when Mar- More real bad news for us. face . . . we must do I heard a speech by cus Courtney of WashTech testified before But not not exactly breaking news to any- that which we think we cannot.” Bill Clinton recently. He made the point that Congress about the effects of globalization, one here. You and your members know we are We must do that which we think we can- what we have in common is more important the workers at the Globe and the rest of us facing a fundamental shift in our core indus- not. In other words, we must stop big media than our differences. To me, that’s what were sitting at that witness table with him. try. You see it and feel it every day. Newspaper owners from getting bigger by mounting diversity means—reveling in our common When the Guild at the Dayton Daily News owners, sated by monopoly profits for national campaigns, in the U.S. and Canada, strength, not shrinking away from one restarted contract talks after 20 years, we all decades now, find themselves struggling to to curtail further consolidation. We must stand another because of our differences. It’s what chimed in. maintain positive cash flows. Classified up to Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of Dow a union is all about. It’s what we’re all about When we discovered in Puerto Rico that advertising is flowing away from their printed Jones by actively seeking other buyers. We in the Guild. That’s why you will hear El Vocero had not made tax-deferred contri- pages to internet list serves and web sites like must make the union a player in every owner- tomorrow from Michael D’Souza, chair of bution to our members’ 401(k) accounts, water running down a mountain. ship transaction, from Peoria to the Osprey the Human Rights and Equity Committee, todos demandamos que ellos pagan—we all Local retailers, who once relied almost chain here in Canada. We must reach out to what we in the Guild are doing to bring more demanded they pay up. exclusively on the local newspaper to get the workers at the non-union LA Times and diversity to everything we do. It’s why the When new owners in Philadelphia word out about weekly specials, now invest in encourage them to join the Guild. We must Guild Executive Committee is recommend- demanded that the Guild give up its pension point-and-click internet ads to lure cus- unite all the employees of MediaNews to save ing that delegates here strongly endorse and plan, we all said no. tomers—that is, those local retailers who are them from the scorched-earth, chainsaw-cost- vote for a proposal to bring more diversity to When the St. Louis Guild fought and won left after WalMart, Target, Home Depot, Best cutting that’s ravaging their newspapers. We the CWA’s Executive Board when they get two arbitrations overturning dismissals of two Buy and Macy’s took over nearly all commu- must make every federal office-holder vote to to the CWA Convention. of their finest, hardest working members, we nity retail business. As our employers have reform the anti-democratic labor laws in the More voices—more diverse voices—are all won. lost advertising revenue, our members have U.S. We must make the Guild the force for stronger voices. It’s how our union continues And when all the IAPE reporters at Dow lost their pensions, large swaths of their health positive change in an industry that for too long to fight. It’s how the Guild stays strong. So Jones stayed home and showed up late for care, compensation and, in too many cases, has been mired in monopoly profits that have when the hearts of our members at the San work en masse to demonstrate who really their jobs. It’s a sobering, frightening time for required no innovation or investment to main- Jose Mercury News broke as MediaNews owns the newsrooms at the Wall Street us. tain. ended the careers of 30 more co-workers last Journal, we all slept in that day. (Not in the In times like these, I turn to one of my We must do that which we think we can- week, including one editor who took his own Continued bottom of page 7 Our members hold the future of media clear decision to reach out to everyone that true visionary, believed that a good working By Bernie Lunzer, Secretary-Treasurer was in the newspaper industry. They knew relationship could achieve things that could B y now you’ve gets everything they ask for, but everyone strength was in numbers. As the industry not be gotten in collective bargaining. He heard that the gets the help they need. We’ve helped York, reshapes, we need to follow that example didn’t think there was anything that couldn’t industry is in Pittsburgh, Toledo, Northeast Ohio, the and reach out to all workers. be discussed with management in some transition, the labor Canadian Media Guild, Rochester, We need an initiative to reach out to meaningful way. But he also said you can’t movement is in transi- Baltimore, Hawaii, Knoxville, Boston. Spanish-speaking media. That means cooperate with employers that are trying to tion, CWA is in transi- The biggest problem we face, with the becoming a bilingual union in the U.S. and destroy you. And right now, let’s face it, we tion. At some point it’s easy to tune out decline in membership, is the possibility of a having a strategy for organizing in broad- are being taken advantage of and turned into what’s relevant. more limited budget. We’ll talk in some cast—in places we haven’t been before. a commodity. Here’s the most relevant thing you need detail in the finance committee, but when And we need to develop real diversity strate- The lack of respect is palpable. How else to know: in the last membership reporting decisions need to be made you’ll know what gies that work at the local level to bring all would you see really outstanding journalists month from CWA, the Guild had fewer than they are, and you’ll be involved in making members and potential members to the going into PR work, and finding for the first 30,000 members. This is a first in over 30 the tough choices. union. Real progress at the local level will time in a long time that they can enjoy their years, and is a drop from 33,000 in February I see the necessity for action in three change the entire union and allow us to iden- work—and they actually get treated better. 2005. I really don’t need to explain to locals areas: build a broad media sector; develop an tify and develop tomorrow’s leaders. As a How sad is that? But we still need to reach what is happening as our employers shed inclusive union; and build stronger, healthier part of this, we need to support the CWA out, and build bridges to employers who rec- workers. The implications are important, locals. diversity proposal and move it forward. ognize and respect the union’s role. though, and will create serious financial It’s time to get serious about building and We can and will push large initiatives, and I have said before, and I’ll say again, that pressures, as locals, too, are already feeling. defining a broad media sector. We’ve been use the resources of the core union. But real our members hold the future of what will be In the month of May ’06, we took in given a gift in what the Guild is currently, but strength comes from the locals, which may media 50 years from now. They understand $464,000. In May of this year, that number we need to consider it a base to rebuild from. need added resources to grow. Flavor-of-the- what is valued, and we should work with was $370,000. If the original founders were here they’d tell day programs and press releases with strong those that will work with us—and go ahead We’ve made substantial use of our us we need to reach out to all information words don’t build a labor movement. We without the others. That means taking respon- resources: the Guild Mobilization and workers. And we need to fortify the profes- have to develop real strategies for locals. We sibility for how things get done, and accepting Defense Fund, the CWA Defense Fund and, sionalism of the work we currently represent, need to strengthen our collective bargaining. that management has abdicated its role. We’ve now, the Strategic Industry Fund. Recently, and that which we hope to represent. We Despite the pounding we’re taking right now, seen it in so many American industries. our own fund, the Guild MDF, has been uti- already have good relationships that will we have to bounce back. We have to find We can weather this storm. We can leave lized more than ever in my 11-plus years in lead to this broader sector, and we need to ways to get back some of the things we’re something better and brighter to those that DC. However, a good investment strategy has start the dialogue in earnest. If we don’t currently losing in these struggles. will come behind us. We cannot shirk this allowed us, even against the high demand of shape this future, someone else will—and And locals have to organize—getting obligation. Cynicism must be rejected. the the last two years, to maintain a fund bal- we won’t care for the results. stronger won’t happen in any other way. Despair needs to be checked at the door. ance of more than $2.5 million. Where possi- We need to be an inclusive union. We are Some believe we can’t organize in the current Let’s roll up our sleeves and get on with this ble, we’ve used the CWA Defense Fund. Its democratic—but that doesn’t necessarily climate. I think they’re wrong. Workers need labor movement that we’ve dedicated our use is more narrow, but it can provide sub- make people feel welcome, or automatically a voice now more than ever. We can find our lives to. Things can be better. stantial sums when needed for contract cam- involved. It’s clear to me that locals under- message, and we can build our union. I ask you to build hope among your paigns. And, lastly, we’re learning how to use stand they have to actively reach out to I want us to work with willing employ- members. Tell them that we have every rea- the news Strategic Industry Fund. We now members and non-members. Likewise, TNG ers. I’ve always believed in building rela- son to expect that we can all do better. Our have two projects in the works. needs to reach out to information workers tionships and finding common purpose. My future depends on it, and together we can I like to tell members that not everyone wherever they are. The founders made a mentor, John Carmichael in Minnesota, a face this challenge. AUGUST 17, 2007 COMMENTARY 7 A notewothy speech: no admonishment By Carol Rothman, TNG-CWA Chairperson training in media-related technologies tions are further refined by our actual expe- through a CWA/NETT Academy program rience, and the cycle is completed when we W elcome to within these categories. are well underway. return to the sector conference to evaluate To r o n t o , Since 2001, we have taken on the task of Organizing is the lifeblood of the union, our successes and failures. where you reviewing our human rights program, origi- and we have measured that pulse with recent The good news is that we have proven will participate this nally established in 1975. Part of that recommendations mirroring those in the that we are doing our job for our union, our week in the 72nd process was to create a diversity task force human rights and collective bargaining locals and our members. That job constantly convening of The the next year. The task force surveyed the areas. We recognized the need to organize changes and continues into the future. And, Newspaper Guild. For you history buffs, the membership for their priorities among new media workers and to rally them around we must continue to live up to the challenge. first convention the Guild held in Canada human rights topics. The top five responses diversity issues. So, back to the elements of the perfect happened right here in Toronto in 1938. were family issues, equal opportunity and Locals continue to take advantage of the speech. Earlier this year, I attended an awards discrimination, benefits equity, diversity, 75/25 CWA reimbursement program for hir- • Say something memorable. Any self- ceremony at my daughter’s college. The and security against workplace violence and ing organizers. And candidates have partici- respecting chairperson agonizes over this. guest speaker was a prominent local doctor. hate crimes. pated in organizer training through the Every one of these speeches means some- I’m always on the lookout for helpful hints Following the survey, an implementation Berger-Marks Foundation. thing to me, but I’ll leave “memorable” up in planning my speech. So, when he said a plan was established. It included local repre- It hasn’t been easy. All of this work has to you. “Memorable” should be in the mind friend provided him with the essential ele- sentation, organizing around human rights been undertaken during a period of the most of the beholder. ments of the perfect speech, he got my atten- issues and involvement in community out- unfavorable relationships with management • Tell the audience something they don’t tion. reach and legislative action. we have experienced in some time. We are know. No self-respecting Guild crowd Speaking to the worthy students and We continued to drill down to the grass- discovering that whether dealing with old would ever admit this happened. But, I feel proud parents assembled, he began—and roots level by establishing a network of local owners or new owners, corporate owners or safe there was something in there some- ended—his address with these three simple human rights coordinators. They were to be private owners, moguls or minions, we are where that qualified. points: the force behind local initiatives like mem- presented with ever escalating challenges. • Finish on time. When you’re in charge, • Say something memorable. bership education and achieving contract Our recommendations here at the sector everything is timed perfectly. So, as an • Tell the audience something they don’t provisions fostering diversity. And last year conference establish the foundation for all of example for our other speakers, I’m finishing know. we created a path for those local human our work in the field. Those recommenda- on time and I thank you for your attention. • Finish on time. rights activists to follow. It leads them This concept worked well for him, so I directly to the sector conference and posi- thought I would try to incorporate it into my tions in Guild leadership. plan. Delegates representing equity-seeking Let’s talk about the reason we are here groups were nominated by their district today. The purpose of the Sector Conference councils to form our current TNG-CWA is defined for us in the constitution, which Human Rights and Equity Committee. Their states, “The TNG-CWA Sector Conference plan is to ensure participation of visible shall set policy for the Sector.” But only part minority delegates in all levels of Guild gov- of our mandate is to determine Guild policy. ernance, with the immediate aim of dou- An equally important part of the process is bling their numbers at the sector conference. to ensure that the mandates are fulfilled. As a result of our Convergence II meet- I though it would be only fair to look ings in 2004, another task force emerged to back a few years to see how we are measur- reevaluate our collective bargaining policies ing up. I must admit that I expected the and programs. Their most popular achieve- theme of this talk to be one of admonishment ment was the collective bargaining tool box. for falling short of our expectations. I was Combining best methods and an array of sure I would uncover an embarrassing list of resources, it offers local leaders ways to broken promises. But I was pleasantly sur- improve their bargaining strategies. prised to find that we have not let our mem- Other training suggestions, like novice bers down or shirked our responsibility. and advanced-level preparation for negotia- Reviewing the resolutions we passed and tions and creating and sustaining a mobiliza- the actions we proposed at our sector con- tion system, were part of the findings. These ferences over the last few years, we can additional background elements would bet- proudly stand on a record of positive accom- ter equip our bargaining teams for success. plishments. And, considering everything Another recommendation of Conver- else that has been on our plate recently, gence II was to increase our membership hardly an issue has been ignored. density in our industry by creating and sus- LETTERS TO THE EDITOR If you’ve attended more than one sector taining effective chain caucuses. In a few conference, you would know that there are short years we have seen dramatic changes To the Editor, of racial bias at the Post. Only one of the recurring themes in our calls to action. The in the chain ownership landscape. This I was delighted when I heard that Secre- complaining reporters, Richard Prince, who Convergence II idea became the building tary Treasurer Bernie Lunzer will run for the left and later returned, still works at the topics we have addressed most often, and office of president of the Guild next year. paper today. more than once, in recent years are diversity, block for our current “Strategic Industry Guild members were right when they first Back then, we were expected to do our collective bargaining and organizing. Rather Fund Proposal to Build power in Media elected Bernie secretary-treasurer in 1995 own jobs in the newsroom while carrying the than tackle a comprehensive list of resolu- Companies.” Our six-month goals of estab- and they will be right to elect Bernie presi- extra burden of fighting the owner, top edi- tions, I attempted to summarize our work lishing the MediaNews Council and offering dent in 2008. tor and company lawyers for promotions Yours for a more member-tuned Guild, and better assignments. For example, after Doing the impossible Continued from page 6 —Larry D. Hatfield, retired To the Editor, the Newspaper Guild filed a grievance on my behalf in late 1974, alleging no upward mobility, Bradley and his goon editors ranging and adversity turns into diversity, a As Americans mark the 33rd anniversary drummed me out of the newsroom on false same bed—don’t want to carry this too far!) much better word. of Nixon’s resignation from office following charges in August, 1976. Although the We are all different; we face different chal- Eleanor Roosevelt (my favorite dead the Watergate scandal, first uncovered by an American Arbitration Association eventually lenges and problems. But we share the same Guild member) had another quote that has obscure African-American security guard awarded me $6,000 in differential back pay goals and aspirations. We are diverse but we become a favorite saying of mine: “A woman named Frank Wills, we should be reminded and ordered I be rehired as a reporter, I are a united front against the adversity that is like a teabag—you never know how strong of the many thankless contributions made never was. by African-American employees in the Now, top dailies like the New York Times, faces our core industry today. What we have she is until she gets in hot water.” Washington Post newsroom, where I Wall Street Journal, L.A. Times and Chicago in common is more important than our differ- I think that’s an appropriate metaphor for worked as a copy aide from 1970 to 1976. Tribune are in crisis, losing circulation and ences, indeed. What unites us is stronger than the Guild, too. We’re like thousands of In 1972, then-executive editor Ben advertising while caught in the throes of new what separates us. teabags, and when we get in hot water we all Bradley refused to address a list of com- technologies. But their dirty little secret, long Have you ever thought about the words get stronger. And when the water gets hotter plaints filed by seven black reporters. covered-up and under-reported, remains “adversity” and “diversity”? One letter, one we get stronger still. We are committed, we Known as the “Metro Seven,” the group pre- one of pernicious discrimination against vowel is all that separates those two words. are tough, we are strong. We are the Guild, sented a petition also signed by other black minorities. Remove the “a,” add an “i,” do a little rear- and we are all together. newsroom employees that alleged a pattern —Mario B. Showers The mission of The Guild Reporter, approved May, 2004 by and its first priority will be current news affecting the locals. The By TNG Convention action, letters to the editor shall be lim- the TNG-CWA Executive Council, is as follows: members of this union expect The Guild Reporter to inform, ited to 200 words and shall avoid libel and subjects detrimental “As stated in the TNG-CWA Constitution, ‘It shall be the duty motivate and challenge its readers. to the Guild. Members subjected to personal attack shall be of The Guild Reporter to promote in every legitimate way the “To maintain its journalistic integrity and traditions, The given opportunity to reply in the same issue, but publication of policies of TNG-CWA.’ The Guild Reporter belongs to the rank- Guild Reporter must never become a personal political platform either attack or reply shall not be delayed longer than one issue. and-file membership of TNG-CWA. or be misused for internal political purposes by the elected lead- Deadline for letters and articles: Friday before publication. “Guild Reporter content will be of interest to the members, ership of TNG-CWA.” (Next deadline: Sept. 7.) 8 THE GUILD REPORTER www.newsguild.org HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Report of the TNG-CWA Human Toronto a perfect Rights and Equity Committee: Sector Conference, Toronto, July 2007 diversity example The Human Rights and Equity Committee was formed a year ago at the TNG Sector Conference in also posted at guildequity.org. The committee offered stipends of four hundred By Sheila Lindsay It’s also notable that Carl Las Vegas, Nevada to increase diversity within the dollars each to four members of the union who wished Washington-Baltimore Guild Younger, of the Greater Boston leadership ranks of the TNG. to attend conferences and meetings of equity seeking Newspaper Guild, was chosen as The committee hammered out a mission state- groups. Two stipends were offered in Canada and two T he multicultural jewel the recipient of this year’s Guild ment at its initial three meetings, all held during the in the United States. We received three applications known as Toronto was the Service Award. Carl was nomi- Sector Conference and finally agreed to this one. from Canada but, unfortunately, none from the U.S. perfect setting for this nated by his local for his develop- Mission Statement: Sujata Berry, a producer for CBC TV will attend the year’s sector conference, at ment of the New England Human The TNG-CWA Human Rights and Equity South Asian Journalist Conference in New York this which the Guild’s efforts to Rights and Equity Committee at Committee will increase the participation of equity month and Eric Shih an associate producer at CBC increase its diversity were so the Guild’s headquarters in seeking groups at all levels of the union and in all lead- Thunder Bay, will attend the Asian American prominently on display. Quincy, Mass. He was instrumen- ership positions at the Local, National and Journalist Association meeting in Miami next month. Lise Lareau, president of the tal in obtaining the media and text International levels and as delegates to the District This committee has also prepared a leaflet on resources for a program that aims Councils, Representative Councils and the Sector human rights and equity issues. Canadian Media Guild, and Conferences. It will strive to achieve a diversity of Members of the committee have also taken on TNG staff member Malinka to attract and welcome members leadership to reflect our communities. human rights and equity issues in their locals helping Franklin worked hard to ensure of equity-seeking groups to the Since Vegas the committee has met in teleconfer- their union colleagues resolve problems. that the conference was booked union movement. ences every month, religiously on Saturday after- The committee has been working on building sup- into a hotel with fully accessible The Human Rights and noons. port for the proposal to add four diversity members to facilities for disabled delegates. Equity committee, of which I am Guildequity.org is now up and running. This is the the CWA Board. Increasing representation of mem- TNG Human Rights Director a member, has met monthly website Randye Gilliam has been looking after. On it bers of equity seeking groups at the highest levels of Debbie Thomas hosted the since its inception at last year’s you will find the minutes of this committee. You’ll also the union movement will only help make this vital Diversity and Workplace Issues sector conference in Las Vegas. find information to help you make your next meeting movement more responsive to issues facing these workshop July 13. Workshop We are happy to say that six better accessible to people with disabilities courtesy groups and make members of the groups more wel- committee members have been of the Canadian Media Guild. There’s also a celebra- come in union organizations. panelists spoke on diversity, tion of this unions efforts to reach out to members of At this time the committee thanks Debbie Thomas seniority, layoffs, discrimination re-elected to continue their work, equity seeking groups such as the CMG celebration the TNG-CWA Director of Human Rights for her help and workplace accommoda- while two are leaving: thank you of Black History Month and participation in Gay Pride and guidance in negotiating the union movement to tions. Vernon Clark, a city desk to Datejie Green (Canadian events. Please share your successes with us because get things done. She’s been an active member of the reporter for the Philadelphia Media Guild) and Matthew these successes are learning experiences for the rest committee. Her contribution s are appreciated. And Inquirer, discussed the recent Harper (St. Louis) for their con- of us. we wish her every success on her next career. layoffs of primarily minority tribution. We also are pleased to The committee launched the New England Human Committee members: staff, even after the new owner welcome two new members, Rights and Equity Committee with the Boston Sheila Lindsay, Washington/Baltimore gave his word that there would Vernon Clark of Philadelphia Newspaper Guild at its headquarters in Quincy, Datejie Green, Canadian Media Guild (vice chair) be no cuts. Lillian Covarrubias, and Faheed Muhammad of the Massachusetts. This is a visionary programme that Matthew Harper, St. Louis (secretary) president of the Toledo Guild, Canadian Media Guild. Carl Younger has come up with. The program aims to Carl Younger, Boston Finally, I note with sadness attract and welcome members of equity seeking Natalie Hill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania talked about seniority in the groups to the union movement by discussing issues Randye Gilliam, New York workplace. Michael D’Souza, that Debbie Thomas announced that are important to the members of these groups. Michael D’Souza, Canadian Media Guild (chair) who chairs the Human Rights her retirement at the sector con- The project includes using DVDs to spark and encour- Yoko Kuramoto-Eidsmoe, Pacific Northwest and Equity Committee, spoke on ference. Debbie has been an age discussions. Please talk to Carl if you wish to find Debbie Thomas, TNG-CWA Director of Human workplace safety and ensuring inspirational leader for this com- out more about the program. Of course details are Rights that disabled workers have mittee, pushed for its success access to evacuation routes they can use during emergencies. But the overwhelming par- and through her efforts gave union members a voice to speak out about issues of diversity. Newsrooms becoming whiter F ticipation of our equity-seeking This could have been a program or all the emphasis by TNG- by-and-large had better minority 20.1%, respectively. brothers and sisters was on dis- brushed aside and ignored. CWA members on improv- representation than the average, On the other end of the spec- play elsewhere at the confer- Debbie has indicated she will ing workplace diversity, the but none except those in Hawaii trum are newspapers like the ence, too, as I witnessed at the still be nurturing and encourag- reality—as measured by the Ameri- met or exceeded the 33% thresh- Eugene Register-Guard, at 1.5% TNG/The Next Generation ing a much younger generation can Society of Newspaper Editors old. The San Jose Mercury News minority; the Cincinnati and meeting. And the sector confer- of union activists, but will also —is that newsrooms are becoming came closest, at 32.2%, although Kentucky Posts, 4%; and the ence put its stamp on the issue venture into teaching. Everyone more monochromatic, not less. recent layoffs may have driven Albany Times-Union and Toledo by passing a resolution—on a who has had an opportunity to According to ASNE’s annual that percentage lower. Other news- Blade, both at 5.6%. And several resounding “aye”—endorsing a work with and meet Debbie will survey, the percentage of minority papers with notable percentages newspapers in areas with predomi- CWA Executive Board proposal join me in saying she will be journalists working in daily news- include the Sacramento Bee, nantly minority populations still to add four diversity seats. missed and that we wish her rooms slipped this year for only 30.3%; Fresno Bee, 26.2%; Wash- maintain largely white newsrooms: (Delegates to the CWA conven- nothing but the best in her new the second time since 1978, to ington Post, 23.7%; Seattle Times, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, tion days later assented as well.) journey. Walk good. 13.62%. ASNE’s goal has been to 22.2%; and the Philadelphia Daily for example, has a newsroom that increase minority representation News and Inquirer, 21.6% and is only 15% non-white. until it mirrors society at large— Official publication of which is now 33% non-white. FROM THE MORGUE Reporter THE GUILD The Newspaper Guild-CWA (AFL-CIO, CLC) Other indicators in the ASNE survey also are slipping into 501 Third Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20001-2797 reverse. Minorities account for Seventy years ago this month: Telephone: (202) 434-7177 FAX: (202) 434-1472 The Guild Reporter carries a front-page story on the growing evi- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org only 10.9% of all newsroom dence of a “publishers’ conspiracy to wreck the Guild,” heralded by a supervisors, reverting to a level (See box on page 2 for address or other subscription changes or cancellations.) spate of “news stories containing supposed bombshells to upset the Guild reached two years ago. membership.” . . . A bid to raid Guild membership for new AF of L locals Volume 74, Number 8 August 17, 2007 Meanwhile, the number of news- flops, when not a single person shows up for a widely publicized “mass papers with no minorities at all on President: LINDA K. FOLEY meeting” in Chicago . . . . Ten issues decided by convention delegates— their newsroom staffs increased to Secretary-Treasurer: BERNIE LUNZER including Guild affiliation with the CIO—are put before the membership TNG-CWA Chairperson: CAROL D. ROTHMAN 392, from 377 last year. in a referendum demanded by the Columbus and Washington locals. Regional Vice Presidents: Editor: Andy Zipser Administrative Director: Guild-represented newspapers Region 1—Donna Marks Director, Contract Admin: Eric D. Geist Fifty years ago this month: Region 2—Connie Knox Kathleen Mulvey Brennan Membership Coordinator: More than 800 Boston Guild members are among 5,000 workers Region 3—Scott Stephens Region 4—Lucille Witeck Staff Representatives: Bruce R. Nelson DAYBOOK idled by a lockout by seven newspapers struck by the ITU Mailers. . . . Region 5—Deborah Zabarenko Michael R. Burrell, CWA/SCA Canada A Dept. of Labor study finds that severance pay, pioneered by the Guild, Region 6—Karolynn DeLucca Darren Carroll, Director: CLUW Biennial Convention is now a feature of 16% of all major U.S. labor contracts, up from 5% in Canada East—Lois Kirkup Marian V. Needham, Arnold Amber Canada West—Scott Edmonds Jim Schaufenbil, Oct. 10-13, Las Vegas 1944. . . . The Guild establishes its first multi-employer pension plan, the Staff Representatives: Jay Schmitz TNG-CWA Coordinator: Melissa Nelson David Esposti, David Wilson Western District Council Commingled Pension Trust, with Chase Manhattan Bank as trustee and Malinka Franklin Dan Zeidler Administrative Staff: Oct. 20-21, Eugene, OR the Pittsburgh Guild as the first participating local. Executive Secretary, Administrative Staff: Contract Committee: Dominique Edmondson, Tina Harrison, Kristin DeNeau Marjolaine Botsford, Forum on the Future of News Twenty-five years ago this month: Carrie Biggs-Adams Joanne Scheel Jeremiah West Industry Jobs The NLRB, buttressed by two Reagan appointees, reinstitutes a policy (Articles may be reproduced freely in any non-profit publication, providing source is credited.) Oct. 26-27, U. of Maryland holding that false statements by employers and unions during organizing campaigns are not illegal. . . The Cleveland Guild files a class-action law- AL WA S R LIED P INTING UNION TRADES LABEL COUNCIL HINGTON Great Lakes, Midwest, and suit against the Plain Dealer over charges filed 10 years earlier claiming Southern District Councils illegal discrimination against women employees. . . . Merger talks Printed by Mount Vernon Printing Co. Nov. 9-11, Chicago between the Guild and ITU reportedly are making progress.
Pages to are hidden for
"As Murdoch prevails_ news turmoil grows.pdf"Please download to view full document