A red show of force for Guild

Dateline: Wed 15 Jul 2009

This is from today's Editor and Publisher

"Indy Guild Wants Members to Wear Red at Publisher Meeting

"By Joe Strupp

"Published: July 15, 2009 11:28 AM ET

"NEW YORK The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, which overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer from The Indianapolis Star two weeks ago, is asking members to show up in force and wear red during a meeting Thursday with Publisher Michael Kane.

"In an e-mail to members Wednesday, Guild President Tom Spalding stated: "The Guild officers and stewards understand that, for whatever reason, we have members who have not felt comfortable showing their support for the Guild by wearing lanyards or displaying signs on their desks in the newsroom. But after seven months of contract negotiations in which the company has refused to negotiate and has presented progressively worse proposals at the bargaining table, after two weeks of unpaid furloughs, after three rounds of layoffs in less than a year in which the company disregarded the seniority provisions of our contract, there comes a time when you have to show the company which side you are on. This is one of those times."

"The call for unity also follows last week's companywide layoffs of some 1,400 employees by parent company Gannett. Those resulted in the loss of 14 guild members at the Star, including guild secretary Sylvia Halladay. Spalding has said contract talks are continuing, but no new agreement has been put forth.

"Spalding's entire e-mail follows.

_______________

"To all Guild members:

"We are asking all members to show their support for the Guild during contract negotiations by going as a group to Thursday's employee meetings with publisher Michael Kane. If possible, we would like all members to attend the 4 p.m. meeting. That is when day and night shift members along with building services personnel all will be in the building. Wear your Guild lanyards, your Guild hats, or something red to show your support.

"We will begin assembling at 3:55 p.m. at Guild president Tom Spalding's desk in the business department. For those coming from the zones, the business department is on the second floor of the Star building and to the right past the mailboxes as you exit the employee entrance elevators. At 4 p.m. we will all take the stairs down to the meeting room in the basement, file in and sit together as a group.

"The Guild officers and stewards understand that, for whatever reason, we have members who have not felt comfortable showing their support for the Guild by wearing lanyards or displaying signs on their desks in the newsroom. But after seven months of contract negotiations in which the company has refused to negotiate and has presented progressively worse proposals at the bargaining table, after two weeks of unpaid furloughs, after three rounds of layoffs in less than a year in which the company disregarded the seniority provisions of our contract, there comes a time when you have to show the company which side you are on. This is one of those times.

"The Guild will be compiling questions for the Q&A session that willfollow Kane's presentation. If you have a question you would like asked, send it to the Guild in a response to this e-mail.

"Finally, the Guild executive committee has appointed steward Adam
Yates to temporarily fill in as the Guild secretary in place of Sylvia Halladay, who was one of the employees laid off July 8 and 9. We are seeking volunteers to fill the remainder of her term, which expires in July 2010. If you are interested, or would like to become involved as a Guild steward, contact Tom Spalding or any officer or steward.

In solidarity,
The Guild officers and stewards"

Comments

Joe Hill [unverified] said:

Which Side Are You On

Come all you good workers
Down at the Indy Star
Now's the time to stand and fight
No matter who you are

Which side are you on now?
Which side are you on?

My life I sweated for Gannett
Under deadline's gun
Now's the time to take a stand
Until the battle's won

Which side are you on now?
Which side are you on?

They say up on the second floor
Many folks complain
You'll either stand by the Guild
Or that flunkey Michael Kane

Which side are you on now?
Which side are you on?

Oh workers can you stand it?
Gannett in all its ways
Wear red on Thursday and with us
Stand and fight today.

Which side are you on now?
Which side are you on?

Don't heed the Gannett corporate line
Don't listen to their lies
None of us have got a chance
Unless we organize

Which side are you on now?
Which side are you on?

2009-07-15 15:01:03

ruthholl [Member] said:

Thank you, Joe. You said a mouthful with music.
More tk.

2009-07-15 19:39:32

Brian [unverified] said:

The Guild needs to self assess and determine where (if any) real strength over Gannett lies. If management has hacked and whittled away at the Guild, to the point there is no leverage to be had in the discussions with management, then what is left over besides nothing? Larger unions than the Guild are hearing their death tolls, all because they have become corrupt, afraid, and too slow to ACT.

Talk is cheap...show me the money.

2009-07-15 21:13:21

guildschmild [unverified] said:

Old Guild members run the guild. They have all the control and no desire to do the things it takes to make moves in the modern world. They cling to preserving themselves at all costs. All those hours spent talking and meeting about Guild related stuff should have been spent exploring social media, learning video skills, promoting their own content on outside sites, and other best practices that seem lost on the old guard. As their battle rages on, the younger guard, who understand the need for a new approach, who have their entire lives ahead of them to work, will suffer the most. They don't have the bloated pay rates. They simply want to work in journalism.

Youngsters at the Star, rise up and protect the pay rates and jobs of the people who have refused to evlove and insist seeing your heads roll instead of theirs! Wear your red bodysuit to the meeting! Act like a-holes! The future of journalism depneds on it!

2009-07-16 14:01:20

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