Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, September 01, 2006

SBNP Staffers Suspended

An anonymous comment came through which is clearly a Teamster press release....this is unconfirmed but certainly believable....


In a clear escalation of the labor dispute at the Santa Barbara News-Press, yesterday management unlawfully announced the suspension of a large number of newsroom employees for engaging in activity clearly protected under federal labor law, and threatened its entire staff with discharge if they engaged in any further such protected activity.

Newsroom staffers at the News-Press have been seeking to be represented by the Graphics Communications Conference of the Teamsters Union since mid-July, but the News-Press has engaged in obstructionist and intimidation tactics to try to prevent the employees from gaining the Union representation a clear employee majority desires, and has delayed and obstructed the National Labor Relations Board proceedings by engaging in tactics such as filing bogus "blocking" charges and playing "musical lawyers".

On August 24, a group of newsroom employees who support the Union and have been demanding that management ecognize and bargain with that Union over their terms and conditions of employment, peacefully delivered a letter on their break time to the office of News-Press owner Wendy McCaw. McCaw was apparently not present at the time, and there was no disruption of the operation of the paper. One week later, apparently still fuming at the audacity of its employees'
willingness to stand up in even the most innocuous way in the face of management's coercive and obstructionist tactics, News-Press management announced that it was imposing a two-day suspension on the group of employees for their conduct in delivering the letter, and threatened the entire newsroom staff with more severe discipline if they engaged in any "similar" conduct.

The Union has today therefore filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, protesting this atest violation of the law by the News-Press, and has asked the Board once again to expeditiously investigate this and its previous charges, and to seek injunctive relief in federal district court to reverse the suspensions and the other coercive, intimidating conduct perpetrated by management to date, all in an effort to deter and inhibit the employees from exercising heir rights to support a union, and support each other at the workplace.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's become readily apparent that the News-Press management's "Formula for Success" goes something like this:

1. Dig hole.
2. Jump in.
3. Keep digging.
4. Success!

9/01/2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous BE said...

To date, Wendy has hired crisis managers, private investigators,union busters and a multitude of about a friggin' SHRINK!
Friday Sept 1: NP Idiotorial still blames "disgruntled ex-employees" for Wendy's management failure. If you were concerned about reporter bias, where were you during the last 5 years?? Why didn't you deal with it sooner like a real manager? You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not me!

9/01/2006 1:05 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Of course, this will all be explained with precise, infallible logic in a news release from Huff & Puff Communications later today. Right?

Or was Dr. Agnes terminated too?

9/01/2006 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Sonny said...

Nipper just mentioned on his food site that Travis's recent editorials are aimed at the intelligent reader! i guess that leaves me out!

9/01/2006 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teamster press release? Can't be. It hasn't shown up on any of the services. More important, Nipper von Weisenberger and Wendy and "team" -- given their vast management experience -- wouldn't be so dumb as to suspend a large group of employees for two days, just weeks before a secret union ballot.

9/01/2006 3:10 PM  
Blogger Craig Smith's Blog said...

Those receiving suspension notices include, Dawn Hobbs, Barney McManigal, Mike Traphagen, Lara Milton and Rob Kuznia. (Read more.)

9/01/2006 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Friend of a free press said...

SHAME on the NEWSPRESS management. Taking this action just before Labor Day will not win them any friends.

Organized newsroom reporters: Hang in there, folks---this community is behind you. Let us know how we can support you----update the website and tell us how we can help.

9/01/2006 4:43 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

So recently News-Press boasts about all the CNPA awards it received, but not the bosses there aere complaining aobut the biases in the news articles?

This obviously is a ploy to justify the termination of the particular employees who obviously support the Teamsters Union. The evidence would be the alleged bias from a goofy poll. Top it off with a few of them starting a riot when they delivered their statement to the News-Press owner.

9/01/2006 5:35 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Wendy must've had a "blonde" moment - no one can possibly be that stupid to suspend employees for constitutionaly protected activities!

Well, maybe if she had a "blond" moment she could've been that senseless.......... :-) dd

9/01/2006 8:32 PM  
Anonymous said...

Dear Friend of a Free Press, AKA 4:43 p.m.,

A message from

Thank you for your support. And thank you, Santa Barbara, for yours. We feel it, and we ARE hanging in there. Some of us have covered this town for decades, others less. On the whole, it's been a pleasure. Interesting summer, eh?

The Web site has been updated.

Check it now for a special "Labor Day Weekend Update."

You can help us. And here is how:

1. Cancel your subscription on Tuesday if our demands are not met.

2. Attend our press conference at noon, Tuesday, Storke Placita, and encourage your friends to cancel the paper if our demands are not met.

3. Tune in Tuesday for a full rundown of our current strategies for public assistance.

3. Continue expressing your support on Web sites like Blogabarbara, in letters to the Santa Barbara Independent and its growing blog site, in letters to the Santa Barbara News-Press and its Web site and in letters to all other media.

4. Email us at to get a "Banish The Bias" yard sign or window poster. We deliver!

5. Have a great Labor Day Weekend!


9/02/2006 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9/02/2006 12:49 AM:

I signed a card and gave it to you guys after the Vic event. I assumed you would give it to the N-P, yes? But it sounds not: those of us who signed the cards should call the N-P? Or print and mail another card from your web site?

As for Tuesday, it's a mid-day workday and we can't be there. Let us know how to help, listing the strategies you mention on your web site.

I must say the paper, with its one-sided self-congratulations, sucks and I look forward to cancelling, reluctantly look forward since I have always subscribed to the local daily. The Daily Sound, although improving, is not there ...yet.

9/03/2006 8:40 AM  
Anonymous said...

Dear 12:49,

We appreciate your questions about the card process. As I am sure you can understand, we must wait until Tuesday to divulge specifics.

Since you can't be there Tuesday, please check media reports and our Web site following the press conference for updated information.

Please know there is no need to print and mail ANOTHER card from the site if you have already turned one into us.


9/03/2006 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP News-Press.

Dear News-Press employees, we hope that you're able to find new work quickly. We've appreciated all your hard work over the years. Best of luck to all of you.

The community.

9/04/2006 6:18 PM  

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