Below is a statement given to us by longtime Times pressman Cesar Calderon, who responds to the management email featuring his co-worker Lee Carey, an anti-union activist.
My name is Cesar Calderon, and I’ve been in the L.A. Times pressroom for 34 years. I’m also the president of our local union. I was very amused by what my colleague, Lee Carey, told you in the Tronc video.
Let me set a few things straight. Five times in the past 10 years, Lee has tried to decertify our union with the company’s help. Each time, they failed. All five times, we voted by secret ballot to remain unionized, including last month. What does that tell you?
The union has done a lot for the pressroom. We have a voice. We have a grievance procedure. We have guaranteed vacation pay. We get overtime. We have job protections. We can negotiate all the terms and conditions of our jobs, and we got bonuses for each contract we signed.
I have no doubt that our pay, which is good for our industry, would be much lower without a union.
Lee used Tronc’s math to try to scare you. The company wanted us to start giving up our vacation pay in exchange for a 401k match. We did the real math and it was easy to see that it would be a bad deal – we would lose time off and money.
And we knew that would probably be the start of what the company would try to take away from us.
We’ve seen these scare tactics in the past. If you want your voice to be heard, if you want to do better, you need a union.
Good luck on Thursday!