Building trades support Guild

Members of the building trades pledged Monday to support our union as we face the most difficult contract talks since our founding 75 years ago.

Guild President Tim O’Brien was invited to speak to a weekly meeting of leaders of 15 different building trades. Everyone from the carpenters to the boilermakers were there.

The packed room at the Albany Labor Temple was disturbed to hear about the Company’s threat to cancel our contract April 9. They vowed to do all they could to support us.

“Do you want us to boycott the newspaper?” one leader asked.

O’Brien explained that was not allowed under the contract, but that could change April 9.

A leader of the carpenters union asked: “Do you want to borrow our rat?”

We hope the Company will wise up and drop its threat. But if not, yes, we would like to borrow that rat.

11 thoughts on “Building trades support Guild

  1. Nobody wants to see circulation or advertising boycotts. They are tools employed to get the company to negotiate. All we’ve seen from the company is give me this, give me that.

    Our bargaining team has made many moves.

    All we see from the company is a 20 percent cut fits all. Check out Editor and Publisher’s web site. At the Hearst papers in Connecticut management is offering buyouts as part of an effort to save 20 percent.

    Hopefully, we’ll see movement and a new contract.

  2. As another advertising employee I agree that we should NOT be targeting advertisers. There has to be another way and our union reps should have enough people they can reach out too who can offer suggestions. There is no magic answer. But we need to find things that everyone can do together. I find it funny that the two events that took place on Saturday were not communicated to advertising until afterwards. It was an organized union event but we weren’t included. So obviously someone knew that we wouldn’t be to thrilled about it.

    My other question is this – is the company going back to the other two unions in the building and asking for givebacks? Why do we have to shoulder all of the responsibility. I know their contracts are already signed but, just like the auto workers unions, if they are truly looking out for the best interests of the company, they should be asked to help out nad renegotiate also. I know for a fact that at least one of the unions are getting raises each year even if they are only 1%.

    • Tim O’Brien here. There was an open discussion of the plans to distribute fliers at the Executive Board meeting last Thursday that every member got a flier inviting them to. We had dozens of members there, including some from advertising. To anonymously make claims that “we weren’t included” is false. You may have been unable to be there, or have decided not to come, but you had the same opportunity everyone else did. And frankly, the people complaining on here have almost all never showed up at a meeting, never participated in any way, never had anything to say in support of the bargaining committee or its efforts in all the time we’ve been bargaining.

      And the comment that the union must have reps who could give them suggestions is amazing at this point. Folks, this is everyone’s fight. If you think you can do nothing and your bargaining committee is going to get you a good contract, you’re dreaming. The Company is canceling your contract on April 9. They want to lay people off by picking favorites, they want to let people go and outsource their work, they want to hike your health insurance and strip you of your right to have a say in what plan you have and how much it costs you. They want to be able to change your days off twice a year without your consent.

      And because your union stood up to them, on April 9 they want to deprive you of your right to take a grievance to an arbitrator. They could stick a performance improvement plan in your file and the Guild could not take a case to an independent arbitrator to challenge its accuracy. They just suspended a photographer for three days for taking a photograph on his own time with his own equipment for a newspaper edited by the former no. 2 editor at the TU. Without arbitration rights, we could not argue that that’s baseless.

      I have invited each of the previous people who have complained on here to call me and share their ideas. I’ve received no answers. One sent a highly insulting personal note to my home e-mail after I invited him to talk. I will not respond in kind. Instead, I renew the invitation to call me or to come to our meeting at Maxie’s.

      But let’s get real here, folks. The Company is coming after us with a baseball bat. We’re not going to defend ourselves with a toothpick. I told the Company that canceling the contract was the dumbest thing it could do and that, if it followed through, we would have the right to launch boycotts. Their response: We know. We’re doing it anyway. And this came after we offered concessions and they moved not a millimeter.

      Your anger is understandable, but direct it at the Company that put us in this position, not at the bargaining committee that has worked so hard for so long.

  3. As one of the people referred to as “complaining” in your comment I would like to respond. Although I cannot speak for everyone, I really feel that those of us who have voiced our concerns about going into our advertisers are being attacked. Voicing my opinion is not the same as complaining. First of all I was not invited to call and talk with you, you sent an email saying my posting (which by the way followed the rules of the blog) would not be posted for various reasons. Mine along with the others who dissagreed with boycotting the advertisers. Second, discussing distributing flyers at a parade and boycotting our advertisers are two different things. If this was openly discussed then why was the statement…and I quote..”to our colleagues in advertising, we know this may be a shock but we will be approaching many other advertisers with the same message” in your article? If it was openly discussed then how could be a shock? Just because some of the people in advertising may see things from a different perspective doesn’t mean it is wrong. Isn’t the goal to listen to all sides, not silence one or attack them for having a difference in opinion? Finally, because I have not been able to attend a meeting does not mean that I am not grateful for the hard work that the bargaining committee has put it. I do however, still, feel very strongly that going into our advertisers is not the answer. Again, this may not be posted because I didn’t offer up a solution but it is just my opinion, which afterall is the reason for a blog.

  4. Tracy: We never said we would not run your comment or that of anyone else who raised this concern. I asked you to consider rephrasing it to include some recommendations on alternate strategies. I asked two others to call me to discuss it first, which we have done with other comments. We never told anyone their comment would not run.

    No one has called or sought me out. I am easy to find and highly accessible. One of your colleagues sent a very nasty e-mail to my home instead. If he does it again, frankly, I will block his e-mail from getting to me. No one deserves to be spoken to like that and especially no one who is working and fighting as hard as I am to get a fair contract.

    To date, not one of you has taken up my offer to suggest any alternate strategies. How do you suggest we get the Company to stop threatening to kill our contract?

    I will write a flier soon explaining what it means to all of us to lose the right to go to arbitration. What the Company is threatening to do is very, very serious. I sat beside one of your advertising colleagues as she was falsely accused of something terrible several years ago. If the Company gets its way, I would be unable to take a case like that to an arbitrator.

    If you’re not in favor of that, then you need to help the Guild figure out ways to send a strong message to the Company and the Hearst Corp. this is unacceptable.

  5. I’m a sales rep in adv. as well. I can understand your concerns, but I can not say it enough that when these meetings are called YOU NEED TO BE THERE!!! Even if your high on the seniority list you need to realize that you shouldn’t sit back and not do anything!! I think if the people with concerns were at our past meeting you would have a better understanding to what actions we will be taking, and not be so upset. We can’t put everything on fliers and blogs so that’s why you NEED TO BE THERE!

    Attending a meeting does not only show that your grateful, but also gives you the time to voice any concerns you have, suggestions, and get updated news, and actions we will be taking. If you care about you job, and your union you will find a way to get there!

    I think is so funny that many of you that have sudden concerns are the people who sit along the side lines, and reap all the benefits of the people who fight for YOU!!!

    I notice that a few of the people in adv. that are complaining were loving the union when they fought very hard to make sure you got your insurance buyout for 2008. Everyone loves it when there getting things, but when we need you to give a little to get A LOT back in return it’s all the sudden a issue.

    If you look at the big picture you will see that we have to make a small sacrifice to get a bigger reward in the end!

    This union has took many hours, days out of there own time at nights, on weekends, and time away from their families to fight for YOU!!!!! They got you many years of raises, insurance buyouts, retro checks, and sat at many disciplinary meeting for YOU! They can’t keep doing it on their own. They need everyone in the union to come together with suggestions, and concerns so they can be addressed in a NORMAL manner so we can ALL come to a fair agreement to get to our end goal!

  6. I’m a sales rep in adv. as well. I can understand your concerns, but I can not say it enough that when these meetings are called YOU NEED TO BE THERE!!! Even if your high on the seniority list you need to realize that you shouldn’t sit back and not do anything!! I think if the people with concerns were at our past meeting you would have a better understanding to what actions we will be taking, and not be so upset. We can’t put everything on fliers and blogs so that’s why you NEED TO BE THERE!

    Attending a meeting does not only show that your grateful, but also gives you the time to voice any concerns you have, suggestions, and get updated news, and actions we will be taking. If you care about you job, and your union you will find a way to get there!

    I think is so funny that many of you that have sudden concerns are the people who sit along the side lines, and reap all the benefits of the people who fight for YOU!!!

    I notice that a few of the people in adv. that are complaining were loving the union when they fought very hard to make sure you got your insurance buyout for 2008. Everyone loves it when there getting things, but when we need you to give a little to get A LOT back in return it’s all the sudden a issue.

    If you look at the big picture you will see that we have to make a small sacrifice to get a bigger reward in the end!

    This union has took many hours, days out of there own time at nights, on weekends, and time away from their families to fight for YOU!!!!! They got you many years of raises, insurance buyouts, retro checks, and sat at many disciplinary meeting for YOU! They can’t keep doing it on their own. They need everyone in the union to come together with suggestions, and concerns so they can be addressed in a NORMAL manner so we can ALL come to a fair agreement to get to our end goal!

  7. I’m a sales rep in adv. as well. I can understand your concerns, but I can not say it enough that when these meetings are called YOU NEED TO BE THERE!!! Even if you’re high on the seniority list you need to realize that you shouldn’t sit back and not do anything!! I think if the people with concerns were at our past meeting you would have a better understanding to what actions we will be taking, and not be so upset. We can’t put everything on fliers and blogs so that’s why you NEED TO BE THERE!

    Attending a meeting does not only show that your grateful, but also gives you the time to voice any concerns you have, suggestions, and get updated news, and actions we will be taking. If you care about you job, and your union you will find a way to get there!

    I think is so funny that many of you that have sudden concerns are the people who sit along the side lines, and reap all the benefits of the people who fight for YOU!!!

    I notice that a few of the people in adv. that are complaining were loving the union when they fought very hard to make sure you got your insurance buyout for 2008. Everyone loves it when there getting things, but when we need you to give a little, to get A LOT back in return it’s all the sudden a issue.

    If you look at the bigger picture you will see that we have to make a small sacrifice to get a bigger reward in the end!

    This union has took many hours, days out of there own time at nights, time on the weekends, and time away from their families to fight for YOU!!!!! They got you many years of raises, insurance buyouts, retro checks, and sat at many disciplinary meeting for YOU! They can’t keep doing it on their own. They need everyone in the union to come together with suggestions, and concerns so they can be addressed in a NORMAL manner so we can ALL come to a fair agreement to get to our end goal!

  8. Can we have a meeting at lunchtime? The meeting for the insurance at the Desmond was so well attended that they had to bring in more chairs, remember? It doesn’t have to include food! We can bring our lunch. Are we allowed to use a conference room at the paper? Believe me, I totally appreciate the time that the bargaining committee gives to help us all out. I would never sign on to do that because I know that I can’t devote the time that it takes to get things done. But, I do get an hour for lunch every day, as everyone in advertising does.

  9. I fully support the decision to explore what are, unfortunately, extraordinary measures. After all, these are not ordinary contract talks.

    I understand the concerns of some people in advertising. However, the old saying is that you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, and if the contract is canceled we are most certainly in a gunfight here.

    ALL our livelihoods are at stake here. I don’t mean to be alarmist, but don’t you think the company would love to move to commission-only ad sales? Without the Guild, how long do you think it would take for them to do something like that….about, say, 10 minutes?

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