Cuts Spread at the San Francisco Chronicle

May 22, 2009: A new round of cuts at the San Francisco Chronicle is hitting Teamsters Local 853.

That’s the home local of Rome Aloise, one of Hoffa’s key point men and our newest International Vice President.

Under the deal, one hundred Local 853 drivers will lose their jobs. But those who stay won’t take a pay cut. And the Chronicle will make a one-time payment of $800,000 to their benefit fund.

The new deal will extend their current contract from 2010 until Dec. 31, 2015.

On June 1, the Chronicle will shift printing to a new nonunion facility. All of the pressmen in GCC Local 4-N will lose their jobs, as will all of the mailers in Local 853.

Over a hundred pressmen have applied for jobs at the new facility. Not one has been hired. All our union can say is that they’re monitoring the situation.

Why did Aloise get a better deal for the drivers? Maybe it’s because he’s always been willing to play ball when the employers wanted to pit members against members.

Back in 2005, before other unions could sign a contract, Aloise inked a deal that would require Local 853 members to cross a picket line if one of the other newspaper unions went on strike.

Teamster pressmen lost the successors and assigns language that could have helped us keep our jobs. And the Newspaper Guild members got one of their worst contracts ever (before this year).

Now over 200 union pressmen and over 100 mailers will be on unemployment. It’s time for our union officials to wake up and get into action. This is a race to the bottom.

By Bruce Carlton, Local 4-N, Retired


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