As Murdoch prevails_ news turmoil grows.pdf by zhaonedx


                     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
                                                                                                                                      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

          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
      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                                                                  

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-

         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

        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
                                       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                                                                                       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
    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
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                                                                   

                                                                              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

    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 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

       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

      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                                                                        

                       ‘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

                                 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

                               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

                                   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                                                                   

    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
                                                                                                                                                                             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

        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       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
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
          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:                     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-

                                             WA S
                                                 LIED P INTING
                                         TRADES LABEL COUNCIL

                                                                                                            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.

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