Liberal SF Chronicle Outsources Printing - to Non-union plant

Richard Henry Lee
The San Francisco Chronicle announced that they would stop publishing their newspaper at their aging, unionized printing plant and instead outsource the printing to a Canadian owned, non-union company.

The Chronicle had signed an agreement  a few years ago with Transcontinental Northern California, which is a subsidiary of Transcontinental Inc. with headquarters in Canada, to construct a new printing plant and print the paper for the next 15 years.

Not surprisingly, the
move has upset the labor unions:

Several Chronicle pressmen said they are upset that neither they nor their colleagues had been hired there. Union members of the Teamsters Local 853, which represents Chronicle delivery drivers and pressroom insert staff, want the plant unionized. They had been picketing it for alleged workplace violations until last week, when the protest was suspended temporarily so that union drivers could be trained on the pickup procedures at the new plant, said Rome Aloise, principal officer for Local 853.

The Chronicle lost $50 million last year and could not afford to replace the plant themselves.

The publisher of the Chronicle
stated:

"Several years ago we made a conscious decision that we need to be in the news and information business, and that printing was better left to professional commercial printers."

The move comes at a time when California unemployment is 11.5% and there are threatened layoffs at all levels of government in the state.

In other Chronicle labor 
news, Gail Murray, a Bay Area Rapid Transit Board member responded to a letter from area state legislators who asked the Board to be nice (that is, generous) to the unions during current labor negotiations:

In particular, Murray was reacting to a June 24 letter that Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, and 14 of her Bay Area legislative colleagues sent to BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger. In their letter, the lawmakers raised concerns about BART's tough bargaining stance with the unions.

Murray, however, recalled that it was local and state pols who stepped into the middle of BART's negotiations eight years ago to force a deal that gave the unions a 24 percent boost in salaries and benefits over four years.

The party affiliation of the other 14 Bay Area legislators was not mentioned, but we are probably safe in assuming they are also Democrats.

A large part of the fiscal problems in California stems from the clout that the powerful public sector unions have over the Democrat-controlled state legislature and other Democratic officials who routinely grant the unions costly benefits and salaries while increasing the number of state employees, even during the current budget crisis.

Perhaps the State's leaders need to review the actions the Chronicle was forced to take to cut their costs, and to consider outsourcing more government jobs. The State already
houses some prisoners at private facilities.
The San Francisco Chronicle announced that they would stop publishing their newspaper at their aging, unionized printing plant and instead outsource the printing to a Canadian owned, non-union company.

The Chronicle had signed an agreement  a few years ago with Transcontinental Northern California, which is a subsidiary of Transcontinental Inc. with headquarters in Canada, to construct a new printing plant and print the paper for the next 15 years.

Not surprisingly, the
move has upset the labor unions:

Several Chronicle pressmen said they are upset that neither they nor their colleagues had been hired there. Union members of the Teamsters Local 853, which represents Chronicle delivery drivers and pressroom insert staff, want the plant unionized. They had been picketing it for alleged workplace violations until last week, when the protest was suspended temporarily so that union drivers could be trained on the pickup procedures at the new plant, said Rome Aloise, principal officer for Local 853.

The Chronicle lost $50 million last year and could not afford to replace the plant themselves.

The publisher of the Chronicle
stated:

"Several years ago we made a conscious decision that we need to be in the news and information business, and that printing was better left to professional commercial printers."

The move comes at a time when California unemployment is 11.5% and there are threatened layoffs at all levels of government in the state.

In other Chronicle labor 
news, Gail Murray, a Bay Area Rapid Transit Board member responded to a letter from area state legislators who asked the Board to be nice (that is, generous) to the unions during current labor negotiations:

In particular, Murray was reacting to a June 24 letter that Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, and 14 of her Bay Area legislative colleagues sent to BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger. In their letter, the lawmakers raised concerns about BART's tough bargaining stance with the unions.

Murray, however, recalled that it was local and state pols who stepped into the middle of BART's negotiations eight years ago to force a deal that gave the unions a 24 percent boost in salaries and benefits over four years.

The party affiliation of the other 14 Bay Area legislators was not mentioned, but we are probably safe in assuming they are also Democrats.

A large part of the fiscal problems in California stems from the clout that the powerful public sector unions have over the Democrat-controlled state legislature and other Democratic officials who routinely grant the unions costly benefits and salaries while increasing the number of state employees, even during the current budget crisis.

Perhaps the State's leaders need to review the actions the Chronicle was forced to take to cut their costs, and to consider outsourcing more government jobs. The State already
houses some prisoners at private facilities.