BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Former NP Staffer Sues for Overtime

From the Associated Press:

Lawsuit claims Santa Barbara News-Press didn't pay overtime
The Associated Press
SANTA BARBARA

A former reporter for the embattled Santa Barbara News-Press sued the paper Wednesday, claiming it failed to keep accurate time records and stiffed employees out of overtime pay.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of former reporter Hildy Medina, seeks class-action status for as many as 200 past and present employees.

The suit claims the newspaper failed to pay overtime to employees who worked more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours a week. It also alleges the News-Press didn't provide its employees with meal and rest periods required by California law.

"It is common for employers to unintentionally violate technical violation of California's strict employment laws," said plaintiffs' attorney Bruce Anticouni, who filed the lawsuit in Santa Barbara Superior Court. "However, in my opinion, the alleged News-Press violations appear to have been willful, which would allow for the award of penalties to the affected employees."

The legal action marks the latest in a bitter dispute between employees and owner Wendy McCaw. At least 16 employees have resigned since July, when nearly every top editor quit amid complaints that McCaw meddled in the newsroom.
McCaw's spokeswoman, Agnes Huff, said she couldn't comment because the newspaper's attorneys hadn't seen the lawsuit.
Last week, the newspaper filed objections with the National Labor Relations Board over a Sept. 27 election in which employees decided 33-6 to join the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The paper accused the union of coercing employees and circulating false and misleading information about the newspaper.
Attorney Ira Gottlieb, who represents the workers, rejected the claims, saying the election had been conducted fairly.
Many of the employees who resigned said McCaw intervened to nix a story about the drunken driving sentencing of editorial page editor Travis Armstrong, as well as reprimanding staff for publishing the address where actor Rob Lowe wants to build a mansion.

McCaw has countered that the former employees had injected their personal views into news coverage.
The News-Press is a 41,000-circulation daily. It has about 50 newsroom employees among a 206-person work force.

53 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that this is a wire story, and that the employee concerns are right there in the article.

10/12/2006 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Companies which don't pay or even allow the logging of overtime is rampant in this country. It will continue as long as employees, fearing for their jobs, go along with their employers. Too, there's the "supervisor" scam, where employers will put mere workers on salary and call them management, so that they are exempt from overtime.

10/12/2006 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still beating a dead horse I see...

10/12/2006 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is common. If people don't like it they get replaced.

10/12/2006 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

It's at the heart of the union debate, I believe, and it's the reason why the Teamsters took such a shine to te Newspress meltdown: the white collar work force is now expected to carry a Blackberry and be on-call at the company's whim 24-7, yet the middle class salary stays stagnant while the CEO salary swells in unimaginable porportions. People unsympathetic to a stand against this must understand that the workers here are not asking for the world, but for a slice of the security currently enjoyed only by the top 1%. It's time to spread the wealth.

10/12/2006 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

worker bee, that sounds like political talking points and bias. get real, what do you think the working class lives with? do you Elitists ever look out the window?

do the research, Americans work more than any other nation. vacation? what's that?

10/12/2006 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, worker bee your socialist/communist colours are out now...

10/12/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

8:53 -- let's be careful with the name calling! I think worker bee can handle it but where are we? 1980? Is it 'Morning in America'?

10/12/2006 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

I'm signing this stuff Worker Bee! What, did you think I was Dr. Laura over here? Political talking points, yes. Bias, of course. It's my opinion, isn't it? What in the world are you talking about? I'm no the elitist here. I'm the white collar shlub on call 24-7 just to pay the rent in Santa Barbara (and it's not just Santa B. - major cities are catching up fast.)

American workers are fantastic. The ownership class, not so fantastic. If you think the divide between the wealthy elite and the middle class should continue growing at alarming rates, good for you. I myself would like to see some of that wealth put into out country's crumbling infrastructure, healthcare structure, and compensation expectations for us hard working bees. (Major points, yes. Blog forums are many things, but the aren't really the best place to write academic text books about social philosophy.)

10/13/2006 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Marxist Wealth Redistribution Worker Bee - guess what, it doesn't work.

10/13/2006 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

It's very convenient to call someone who believes the wealthy are too rich in this country a socialist, which you might think is a dirty word, but it is actually a robust field of study that evolves and is not stuck on Marx.

But let me ask: when you say redistribution of wealth doesn't work, what do you mean? It doesn't work in doing what exactly? I'll submit that nothing solves all problems.

10/13/2006 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

It probably does not say much about my judgement to dive into this socio-economic political debate, but I cannot just let unsupported truisms pass. It's my weakness. Anon. 10:22 am, before he make a global statement like "wealth distribution...doesn't work," you should look into some of the most successful wealth distribution schemes on the planet. Wealth distribution is keeping American seniors out of poverty, providing health care for all of Europe, and funding public education for most of World's children lucky enough to get an education. You can agree or not whether wealth redistribution is efficient, fair, or even moral. But it has been and is "working" on so many different levels.

10/13/2006 1:18 PM  
Blogger passing-by said...

Yeah, but guess what anonymous 10:22... wealth concentrated in the hands of the few and the very few members of the ultra-rich aristocracy doesn't work, either. Read some history.

10/13/2006 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging for the comments, it would be safe to say most are pro-socialism. which is what I've heard about your community.

10/13/2006 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

Let's quit the silly political posturing and get to the matter at hand. The Hildy Medina suit is absurd, just another attempt to smear the News-Press at a time when passions are cooling.

News-Press reporters were and are paid much better than their peers at similar-sized newspapers. Ask any of them. Ampersand believes strongly in paying its reporters a living wage so that they can lead productive lives and contribute to Santa Barbara's economy.

This suit has nothing to do with wages and fairness and everything to do with the ongoing campaign to trash the newspaper.

10/13/2006 6:14 PM  
Anonymous too close to you said...

Ah, Nelville, shilling again. And utterly wrong. Again. Wendy did indeed put the kibosh on OT, forcing lots of people to work for free. Simple fact.

As for Ampersand and its generosity, that's an even more egregious lie. How much is Wendy paying the fresh-faced new hires? $15, $16 an hour, right? That's way less than the seasoned veterans you chased out. And in this town, $15/hour ain't squat, and we all know it.

Besides, aren't you and Wendy the ones who've railed against the city's living wage ordinance?

Finally, if you're really worried about the paper, you should just quit. Now. You're done as a journalist, but maybe you could put that law degree to use.

10/13/2006 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Friend of Truth said...

Tell it to the judge, Nelville, tell it to the judge. And in your usual style of denial, you are trying to deflect from the actual issue. A "living wage" in Santa Barbara is about $15 per hour. As we know, that does not go far, especially since The Wendinator terminated company contributions to the employee pensions. Thus smart employees, as a class, also will try to recover money for illegally uncompensated overtime.

Seems like you all should have hired Millstein a few years earlier; but, alas, the time is too late, and now a class=action lawsuit has started and will not end until the class of employees get a settlement. That will come out of your fat salary, be assured.

The ongoing campaign to trash the newspaper started with you, Nelville, pushing out all the senior editors and writers. The employees striking back with legal tools now is just payback.

And as we know, Payback Is A Bitch!

How is that for a Redistribution of Wealth?

10/13/2006 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, the NP provides jobs. What's wrong with that?

10/13/2006 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

neville flynn,

when you say "Ampersand believes strongly..." are you speaking for them?

10/13/2006 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

Anon 7:45,

Sweatshop operators are employers too. Should they pay their employees more than a dollar a day? I know the NP isn't a sweatshop, but you catch my drift.

Just imagine what people could do with their wealth: Our example in this situation, McCaw, gained her independent wealth through a divorce. Good for her! Now, given all that wealth, you suddenly have more immediate options of what to do with yourself than us average Joe Punchclocks. You could, say, start a powerful non-profit overnight or (gasp) run a profitable private business like the Newspress AND offer the best compensation packages in the industry. Imagine that for a moment - you would be held in the highest regard everywhere you went. You would be hailed as a cofident leader, a trend bucker. You'd be asked to speak to the graduating class of Harvard. You'd have statues of your likeness erected in De la Guerra Plaza, etc.

Or, you could do what McCaw has done.

10/14/2006 4:58 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

One reason why "Nelville" and Ampersand are so testy again is that the Associated Press article about the lawsuit for unpaid overtime pay has appeared in more than 100 publications and web sites.

Only the first stories from the initial carnage and editorial staff purges have received that many AP news hits worldwide.

10/14/2006 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone assumes that "Neville" is Travis. Wrong. Though he doesn't mention hamburgers, "Neville" and "Nipper" are one.

10/14/2006 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Blond(e) Bomber said...

Worker bee, insightful at 4:58 pm, but Nick said it months ago when McCaw first strapped dynamite around her mid-section -- the carnage is self-inflicted.

10/14/2006 7:24 PM  
Anonymous identity crisis said...

Worker Bee makes some great points. But can someone figure me out? I make good of money, believe in social programs that provide great education, employer-paid healthcare, living wage. Housings subsidies are fine with me as long as that philosophy is not used for over-building and ruining a community.

Who am I? Elitist a**hole, or socialist fool?

Or am I....A RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN?

10/15/2006 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Neville/Nipper" same things, Wendyco robots. These upstarts also rely on domestic help, how do they run these acquisitions? Wasn't it a nanny that shed light on Huffington debacle? Anyone hear if Wendy McCaw is back to "work"? How's she looking? Worker Bee you go! Always love your wit and wisdom.

10/15/2006 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a little off subject, where can I find haggis laura schlessinger's excuse for a column, or a reasonable explanation for what she's up to? i'm not interested in listening to her etc. there are people who do. if i knew what she was saying locally, i could respond to some of the absurdities i hear. what's the deal with her "ratings", any reality to her figures? i know she sets up some of the so-called letters to her. as far gone as wendy is, it's hard to believe even she could accept doc's dribble. i wish someone could explain that unholy union in a comprehensive business manner? what's in it for wendy to have that "paid-unpaid wh?re" representing the silent "unpaid wh?re" wendy? the thought of bloating wendy "trusting" tipsy, nipsy and lipsy as her front is beyond belief. what say "neville"? always like you showing your "colors".

10/15/2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nelville and Nipper Von Cheeseburger are the same guy?
God, I love blogs....

10/15/2006 2:06 PM  
Anonymous worker bee said...

Identity Crisis,

I'm not sure what you're asking. Could you expand a bit?

10/15/2006 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

My identity is not important. What matters is that I am willing to speak truth to a blog full of liars and would-be character assassins.

Here's truth: The News-Press pays its journalists exceptionally well and gives them a great deal of power to tell stories accurately and without bias. When journalists fail to live up to their responsibilities in that regard, their relationship with Ampersand and the News-Press ends. And it's true that the News-Press doesn't believe in a government-mandated "living wage" -- but that doesn't preclude it from paying its employees generously on its own.

Unfortunately, the News-Press newsroom became infected with clock-watchers and agenda-pushers and changes were made to restore the paper's journalistic integrity. That is the unvarnished truth. And it shouldn't matter if that truth is coming from Travis K. Armstrong, Arthur von Wiesenberger, Dr. Agnes Huff or Scott Hadly.

10/15/2006 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

How brave you are to speak truth in this virtual lion's den. My hero! I've half a mind to let my virtual hair cascade down the tower window, so that you might save me from the tyranny of Blogabarbara!

I don't care if you're Wendy's Water Boy Von Hamburger or who...you're insulting our friends and our intelligence and we know the truth. I'm particularly ticked about you calling my friends clock watchers.

10/16/2006 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truth hits a nerve.

10/16/2006 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, Neville, one specific example of an "agenda" by an editor or reporter that caused Wendy to pull down the entire paper. Don't hide behind "internal matters," news is a public product. Just one. Be specific, if you want anyone to actually believe you.

10/16/2006 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neville/Nipper, the overtime lawsuit against the News-Press will show you how many of the employees you think worthless were, indeed, "clock watchers."

10/16/2006 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just look at worker bee's posts - filled with agenda.

Folks like worker bee are what pulled the paper down.

10/16/2006 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

Anonymous 2:16 is absolutely correct. "Worker bee" is using this blog to conduct a personal crusade, just as his friends at the News-Press used the newspaper to conduct their personal crusades under the Jerry Roberts regime.

"Worker bee" claims to oppose bias in the pages of the News-Press, yet he has no problem spewing lies and misinformation on this forum. Pretty objective, eh?

10/16/2006 2:36 PM  
Anonymous worker bee said...

Anon 2:16,

Of course my posts are filled with opinion. I want you to read the following very carefully and slowly: This...Is...A...Blog.

Anon 8:49,

Right on. Haven't heard one example from McCaw's trained monkey camp yet. I must assume by this point they simply don't have one.

10/16/2006 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, if this 'transition period' at the NP was planned to shed the clock-watchers and agenda-pushers and we're now closer to what the newspaper should be ... I just have a few questions for Neville.

*Why is there still no managing or executive editor after 3-1/2 months, and no candidates that anyone has seen, even though the NP is dangling $200,000 for the position? The suspicion is that no one remotely qualified wants any part of working for Mrs. McCaw, et al. What other plausible reason is there?
*Why, at a newspaper that in the past was always able to attract very experienced journalists for reporter openings, are so many of the new hires so fresh out of college, or are new to print journalism? Could it be, corollary to above, experienced journalists want no part of it now? (BTW, this is not one of those gratuitous blog slams against any of the newcomers. It's always good to have young, eager blood. Maybe just not ... so much all at once!)
*And they don't appear to be getting much newsroom guidance on how to find and develop stories. Again, replacements for the peope who did that are slow in coming. And some of the very young are being pressed into fill-in editing shifts, theoretically providing the guidance to others. Is that part of the plan?
*The associate editor, in addressing newsroom employees shortly before the union vote to request their 'no' vote, admitted that "management has made some missteps." He did not elaborate. Does he speak for you on that, Neville? Or are you horrified to learn he made such an admission?

10/16/2006 4:23 PM  
Anonymous way too close to you said...

What, Sara, you didn't like my response to Nelville's rantings? What, exactly, did you find so offensive? He calls Roberts & Co. liars and worse and gets posted; I say he's a gutless liar and the post doesn't see the light of day. What's up with that?

10/16/2006 5:53 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Nelville's comments have gotten quite a few responses that didn't have me feel uncomfortable in posting -- and I have thick skin. The comment I didn't allow was a little too angry and went into some name calling I didn't think appropriate. Even if I agree with someone in their comment, I believe I also need to look at the tenor and how it is said. Sorry to upset you and this does not happen very often -- but Nelville's participation gets more than a few people's blood boiling and there is no reason in my mind to throw gasoline on a fire that is already burning.

10/16/2006 6:25 PM  
Blogger john san roque said...

While these exchanges are very entertaining, I'd like to comment on the main issue of the overtime lawsuit.

What I'm finding really entertaining is Neville's comment that the lawsuit is "absurd" and an "attempt to smear" the newspaper. This is the reaction of a newspaper and its owner who have veritable armies of lawyers attempting to grind adversaries into oblivion under barrages of lawsuits? Does the News-Press believe that litigiousness is bad form these days? a last resort that only desperate parties would resort to? This is wonderful irony on a massive scale.

And, Neville, perhaps you forgot that you were so disgusted with the lies and distortion on this blog that you said you had written your last comment about a month ago. Today, you find that wretched Worker Bee is "spewing lies and misinformation" and is "using this blog to conduct a personal crusade". Imagine that!

I think it's about time again for you to never blog again.

10/16/2006 6:40 PM  
Anonymous way too close to you said...

I appreciate the post, Sara, but really -- if you can't stomach the responses that Nelville's character assassinations of good people provoke, perhaps you could apply your keen sense of discretion to his crap as well. A double standard, no matter how high-minded, is still a cop out.

And yeah, you bet your a** I'm angry.

10/16/2006 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

Anonymous 4:23, I'll try to answer your questions as they seem to be posed in good faith, unlike some of the other mindless rants that the moderator has let through or filtered in some cases.

* The News-Press is taking its time to review candidates for these important positions. There have been a number of qualified candidates, but there is time to find the right fit for this community. Santa Barbara is a unique place and the News-Press deserves more than a cookie-cutter editor. In the meantime, Scott Steepleton is doing an exemplary job leading the newsroom.

* While some of the new staffers are younger, the talent pool also includes people of deep experience. Business Editor Edmond Jacoby, for example, is an experienced journalist who reported from Ukraine during the Cold War and for several California newspapers over the past decade.

* There are transitional issues with regard to day-to-day newsroom management. What's important is that the paper is being produced every day with an eye to quality and objectivity.

* The alleged Steepleton comment about "missteps" was, if true, his opinion. I'm sure the strong emotions of July 6 clouded the judgments of some parties, notably those who shouted obscenities and otherwise behaved unprofessionally. If that's what Steepleton was referring to, it's a defensible statement.

10/16/2006 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

(The morning fog rolls into Santa Barbara...)

I habitually unfolded the Newspress this morning to my favorite section, the realty classifieds. I read not a word before a rainbow burst from the page! I sat in astonishment at its beauty. I don't have a picture to prove this, but trust me, a rainbow lept right off the fold and into the kitchen.

Then, a magic Unicorn with wings suddenly appeared outside my window. "Come play with me!" it begged. So I tucked the Newpress under my arm and mounted the magic Unicorn. It gently flew me through the mist to the Calixe, where we landed softly on a pad designated with a capitol "U".

An exquisite gentleman wearing a monacle greeted me with open arms. "Hellooooo!" he rang boisterously, handing me a bottle of the finest Parisian water. "Welcome to the Calixe, where the crushing weight of reality melts away, and all your dreams can come true-ue-ue-ue-u!"

10/16/2006 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Since I am not at all emotionally invested in this arguement, I hesitate to comment on this string at the risk of sounding bland. I am saddened at what has happened at the News-Press. I am selfishly disappointed that my first waking experience each morning (i.e., reading the paper over coffee) as been so disrupted. I must say that in all my interactions with News-Press reporters and editors over many years, I have always been treated with respect. All that said, Nelville Flynn has yet to provide a single example of a biased news article written by any former or current member of the News-Press. I hold no animus toward Flynn (whomever he or she really is), but the failure to provide evidence of alleged bias completely destroys his or her credibility.

10/17/2006 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Disgusted said...

“Neville”/”Nipper,” after all these months you STILL ignore requests to provide specific descriptions of the "agenda" or “bias” allegedly shown by Jerry Roberts and his editors and reporters.

That’s because you can’t. Anything you might make up now to try to explain Wendy McCaw’s actions would be indefensible and offensive to objective people. It would reinforce “the Empress has no clothes.”

Citing a “Camie Cohee” story about a Carpinteria politician is your best stab so far. You won’t elaborate and the story published doesn’t stand up to your assertion.

Try being honest: ambition and cash on your part and mere whim or instability on hers are why dozens of lives, a newspaper and a community were torn apart.

Your libelous hamburger essay demonstrates your inability to judge bias, think intelligently or lead a community. You can’t be taken seriously and moral bankruptcy drips from your written comments.

10/17/2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neville, you tell us about your search for a real editor. Earlier this year you’re quoted that you and Wendy McCaw are temporary “co-publishers” and that a national search would be conducted for an experienced professional publisher. Great idea. Could have avoided the union. What happened? Hubris, ignorance, sloth? Something else?

10/17/2006 8:49 AM  
Blogger budlawman said...

Nelville, why don't you sit down with the union representative of your newsroom employees, who overwhelmingly voted for union representation, 33-6 (85%)? I'm sure your lawyer(s) must have told you that the objections to the election you filed with the NLRB don't stand a chance of succeeding in overturning the election, and any objective view would have told you that despite Jim Anderson's best unionbusting efforts, the staff was not going to reject the union; to the contrary. One step toward regaining credibility in the community would be to make peace with the reporters and the union they clearly want to represent them.

10/18/2006 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

Budlawman 9:45: I would advise against reading too much into the union "victory." First of all, there was coercion by Teamsters organizers who are experts in using peer pressure and groupthink to induce people to join unions. Secondly, there was some understandable anxiety among employees about the transition period at the News-Press and they may have seen a union as protection during this period. However, that's not an endorsement of PERMANENT union representation, which is what the employees may be stuck with.

The unions don't want peace. They want control.

10/18/2006 12:09 PM  
Anonymous From inside the asylum said...

Neville, are you kidding?

"Transition period"!? Transition … to what?

mccaw/weisenberger/armstrong/millstein/huff/montano, with their bizarre management behavior, have given ALL us inmates a clear look at what's on the other side of the "transition."

It ain't pretty.

It’s not “understandable anxiety," neville, it’s terror, pure and simple.

Until wendy stops her “policies” designed to scare us and her random micro-managing of things she knows nothing about, of course we need protection; which means, neville, get used to PERMANENT union representation.

Wendy has learned nothing so far.

She continues to beat up on us from inside her locked office, using lawyers and our forced meetings with anti-union consultants, only “talking” with us via national wire services and sometimes via you, Neville, her gigolo, with your ridiculous bottled waters and pork patties.

Wendy may well have become Howard Hughes certifiable, so the union is the only straw we have to grab right now, other than quitting and letting our families go broke, as many have had to do.

Why should the reporters have the only protection – as the holidays near I myself feel frightened and naked to her whims and temper.

10/18/2006 5:25 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Inside -- let's be careful with the name calling please...

10/18/2006 6:08 PM  
Anonymous worker bee said...

On the Calixe, fantasies become reality. There is no suffering. There is no business - no wrong or right. There is only what one believes. Truth is what one speaks.

(queue fog machine)

On the Calixe, there is no money, everything is free. There is no labor, everything is already done.

(queue Baroque lute)

On the Calixe, there is no retirement. There is no worry of the future or study of the past. There is only the moment - and the moment is what you believe it to be.

(queue Wendy McCaw, flowers in her hair. queue Michael Douglas, dressed as a cherub, prancing. queue The Nipper, increase fog...)

10/18/2006 10:27 PM  
Blogger budlawman said...

Nelville, the "coercion" charge you and the NP throw around is totally without merit, without evidence to support it, and simply a delay tactic designed to frustrate the employees' desires to have a union represent them. I have it from a reliable source that the NP's laughable unfair labor practice charges filed against the Union will be dismissed very soon, and since the NP itself said in one of its Huffy releases that those charges were "consistent" with its equally flawed election objections, we can expect those to expire soon as well. The NP and Mrs. McCaw have consistently been very good at hurling charges and threats from lawyers but not so good at making them stick, since that takes evidence.

The fact that you speak (to be sure, ignorantly and falsely) of what would essentially be a desire for only temporary union representation exposes your motive to defy the law. You are hoping to wait out the employees through legal shenanigans and frustrate them; the law, however, may provide you with delay, but it ultimately will not reward you with a union-free environment. Once a union is certified to represent a group of employees -- as this union surely will be -- it has a full year to bargain with the employer. I imagine your lawyer told you as much. You remain in denial about what the newsroom staff want, as well as what the law requires.

It is simply amazing that with dozens of professional, accomplished employees fleeing, and a union election victory of overwhelming proportions (85% is unheard of in an atmosphere such as that which the NP created and inflamed) staring you in the face, that you can still talk as if you are responsible for nothing, everyone who disagrees with you is still being duped or coerced, and if only you could regain total, dictatorial control, then everything would be OK. There will be peaceful, lawful, civil justice for the employees at the News-Press, and it will not be thwarted by those who -- imagine, at what's supposed to be a reality-based workplace -- by those who refuse to face facts.

10/19/2006 9:28 PM  
Anonymous cancel here said...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 20, 2006
To: All Media
From: The organized at SBNP

Today the National Labor Relations Board confirmed what the Teamsters union and the News-Press reporters it represents have been saying all along: management's complaints filed with the NLRB about alleged union intimidation and "confusion" are totally bogus.

Today, after conducting an investigation that included providing management with an opportunity to provide evidence to support its charges, the NLRB announced its conclusion that there is no basis for those charges and therefore dismissed them.

In short, the NLRB determined that the News-Press' absurd claims that the Union violated the law by setting up a "savethenewspress.com" website, and trying to collectively deliver a workplace demand letter to owner Wendy McCaw, were not worthy of serious consideration.

It bears emphasis that the News-Press has also filed objections to the Teamsters' recent 33-6 election victory which are virtually identical to the charges the NLRB dismissed today, offering an indication of the frivolous character of those objections as well; obviously the objections were interposed solely for the purpose of delaying the News-Press' obligation to negotiate in good faith with the union.

The News-Press itself announced on October 3 that the pending objections were "consistent" with its now-dismissed charges, thus further exposing its position to be not one of cooperation, as it professes, with the NLRB's election process -- which is designed to ensure workplace democracy -- but one intended instead to maintain workplace autocracy, notwithstanding the law requiring employee participation once the Union has
demonstrated that a majority of the employees in the newsroom wants a union.

The Teamsters hope that now that its charges have been duly considered and dismissed by the neutral governmental agency empowered to prosecute and adjudicate such charges, that the News-Press will recognize that its identical objections are without basis, and withdraw them so it can begin the collective bargaining process, as the law calls upon it to do.

- 30 -

10/20/2006 6:46 PM  

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