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 Post subject: Hideous...and yet I can't look away...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 3557
Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
Curse you, Phil, for mentioning this Poynter site. I am getting addicted to it too.<p>Back to the candy-tossing jerk. If "his" newsroom is like most, for every two butt-sucking sycophants who think it is "fun" to catch candy, I'd reckon there are four other workers who are offended by it.<p>For every two attitudes "improved," four are ruined.<p>People like this don't understand how this stuff works against them. Case in point: My newspaper made a brief move against the Guild a few years back. They brought in a known anti-union consultant, who conducted "seminars" for our managers. <p>Most of our managers came from within, and some are still sympathetic to the union. One told us that at one seminar, there actually was a "hug for justice," a communal hug for managers to bond them together in the fight against the oppressive workers. <p>Of course, we found out about it. And of course, the story was blown more and more out of proportion. And of course, it solidified the union more than anything the union could have done.<p>For every action there is a reaction. For every person stretching for a candy bar, there is a new
recalcitrant in the making. <p>Screw that guy. Now I have to get back to the Poynter site.<p>[ January 29, 2003: Message edited by: Bumfketeer ]</p>

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 Post subject: Re: Hideous...and yet I can't look away...
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2003 3:28 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 76
Location: NJ
At my previous paper, the Powers That Were developed a bad case of union anxiety upon hearing a scary rumor that the pressroom crews might try to organize.<p>So they brought in some schmuck -- maybe even the same schmuck your paper got -- and rounded up not only actual newsroom management but anyone who might possibly have to simulate a supervisor in the wee hours (which is how I got stuck; I was deputy desk chief) to listen to him. The sole substantive message at this session was: "Don't take union authorization cards from anyone; refer the person to Human Resources." Since that could have been handled with one loud, 15-second declaration by our Human Resources human standing in the middle of the newsroom, and this consultant had an hour of our time to play with, we also were treated to (complete with slides and handouts) the full course of his breathtaking anti-union arguments:<p>(1) He's an anti-union consultant and negotiator, and he gets paid a lot of money for it, and he'd like to leave everyone with the impression that he eats union brass for lunch. (Uh-huh, right up until the day the Teamsters bury him under the 50-yard line at Giants Stadium.)<p>(2) A company has only one money pie, and none of the nonpayroll slices of it are touchable, so when the evil union negotiates a raise, the workers have to suffer for it in other ways such as layoffs. (Even if his "nonpayroll slices aren't touchable" argument wasn't bullshit ... gee, aren't the corporate executives' seven- or eight-figure bonuses part of the payroll slice? And all they have to do to earn it is, um, uh -- hey, help me out here, folks.)<p>(3) All unions are mob-controlled (he demonstrated by showing a bunch of clippings from god knows when or where), so if you join, you're just getting into bed with the Mafia. (Well, you know, when I worked at a union paper, the two twentysomething, female, petite reporters who were the Newspaper Guild reps were part-Italian...)<p>God hadn't entirely deserted us that day, though, as we did escape the humiliation of a Hug for Justice.<p>As to how effective this session was: Afterward, as I was leaving the meeting alongside the business editor -- who was pretty far right politically -- he said to me, "You know, I feel like going out and starting a union right now."<p>And as for the Poynter site, our Poynter-loving exec. editor has gone elsewhere, and his successor has yet to hit me with any Institute-generated advice (bless him), so I haven't had to visit its Web site recently. I'll trust Phil B. to suffer in my stead.

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