Thursday, October 05, 2006

News on the NLRB ruling here, from Huffington Post...

Well, this is the big buzz. Looks like the SBNP editorial department voted in the nick of time. However, this news is going to effect everyone in the industry who works and most likely create the most hostile kind of environment imaginable for workers. Take a look at the mixed bag of comments under John Sweeney's article to get an idea.

Here is an excerpt:

"The board's decision will resonate well beyond nurses, though. The union rights of building trades workers, newspaper and television employees, technicians and many others are on the line. As The New York Times points out, the board made specific reference to retail workers, providing a blueprint for reclassifying employees of Wal-Mart, grocery stores and other retail operations as supervisors. "The assignment of an employee to a certain department (e.g., housewares) or to a certain shift (e.g., night) or to certain significant overall tasks (e.g., restocking shelves) would generally qualify" a retail worker as having the supervisory responsibility of "assigning," the board's majority wrote."

Don't miss this read, or the next one over at Firedoglake, this morning. When we did a little research over the summer as the melt down began at the News-Press we found links about the Kentucky River Cases, and the NLRB.

Our sense then was that they wanted a union because they needed a voice, but why The Teamsters and not The Newspaper Guild? It didn't make sense at first. With this new ruling though, now it makes a lot of sense. The whole industry looks like it will be in for a big fat change at newspapers all over the country, as people get reclassified on the job.

Now, put the country's newsprint media into the hands of just a few, add in all the outsourcing, and you come up with a pretty devastating forecast for the American Press. It doesn't look good. Wire stories just don't cut it, do they? Your newspaper should not be just a wrapper for filler ads by big conglomerates. Take the Sunday paper for example and deconstruct it by taking out all the ads. Then take out the classified and home sections which are advertorial anyway. How many sections do you have left?

Then, check the bylines. Where are they coming from? Are they local, or wire?

How many stories are prescient to you? How many are local news?

Next up, Firedoglake! It's all about labor, so don't look at it in terms of blame towards political parties, okay? We want you to read this and grapple with what has just happened and what it might potentially mean for the press in our country. It's VERY important.
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