Friday, January 26, 2007

Reaching Out

Hey Guys,

I've been a little incommunicado as of late since my computer decided it wanted to die again... my apologies, but I did want to make you aware of another union movement afoot across town. After the morale-killing dismissal of Dean Baquet and a string of confusing moves by Tribune, the Guild has reached out to the newsroom at the LA Times in an attempt to offer them some support. Our local's providing assistance and advice and it appears that there's growing interest from the folks at the Times. Though the company has fought off union organizing attempts in the past, the Teamsters recently won a victory in the press room and the Guild has had productive talks with staffers.

If you want to read one endorsement, I see Jamie Court, the consumer activist who blogs for the Huffington Post, has taken note. (As a note of disclosure, I've quoted Court in his role with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer rights in the past when I covered business, but have not spoken to him about this, or anything else, for quite some time)

I'll leave the particulars to the Guild experts (, but I did want to add my own quick perspective. As we've seen at the Daily News (and I'm sure it's similar at much larger places like the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, all Guild papers), a union doesn't instantly resolve all the issues, but it can be tremendously helpful. We still have our share of struggles, but at the very least, we've got a voice in the debate in how the newsroom changes. When the layoff notices hang over our heads or the corporate office begins rumbling with ideas that could hurt us, it's the contract that protects us and the relationship that helps us all. I hope that the workers at the Times will find a similar experience and if they've got questions on how things work here, encourage them to get in touch with us.

Thanks for listening and best of luck to everyone.



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