The Union for the LA Times pressmen have been battling with management since February over the decision to lay off 63 press room workers without severance pay. Finally the two sides have come to an agreement. Below is a letter from from union president Ronnie Pineda about the negotiation:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The union and the company met yesterday to discuss severance for the recently laid off workers. The union accepted an enhanced version of the company’s last proposal offered in February.
Our decision to accept will undoubtedly draw fire from some people, but it was obviously the right thing to do based on the 63 workers who were laid off receiving nothing in the form of severance or consideration for years of service with the company. Therefore, the union and the company agreed to the following:
The 63 employees who were laid off will receive up to 12 weeks of severance pay with recall rights as outlined under the contract; the company did not agree to any benefit continuation.
In return the union agreed to withdraw all pending grievances and 4 of the 5 pending Unfair Labor Practice charges.
Again, we realize this will bring out some critics of the union, but we felt this was the right thing to do at this time, and to the critics of the union, you should consider this, did the company do the right thing by not agreeing to treat its union and non-union employees equally?
The letter above was posted on Save Our Trade, the blog for the pressmen’s union.