Saturday, January 26, 2008

Focus On A Brighter Future For WPIX

Sam Zell and Randy Michaels will need to suspend their anti-union bias if they truly want to make Tribune a success. It is not possible for a business to reach it's full potential if you've alienated half your employees right from the the start.


By the same token, we need to show Sam and Randy our commitment to making WPIX the shining star in the constellation of Tribune TV stations.

Our purpose is to create a department that sets a new standard of quality in news and entertainment broadcasting.

We will develop technicians that raise the bar in training and operating excellence. We will foster and maintain a safe, motivating, and empowering environment for our members to enjoy competitive wages and benefits with long term employment prospects.

Our operating values are Integrity: Doing the right things; Quality: Doing the right things right; and Focus: Work smart, not hard, to maximize success.

We must continue to develop our working relationships: "Raving Fan" clients, "Gung Ho" members, cooperative and supportive managers, and an attitude in this ever changing broadcasting environment that we can't wait to see what's next.

Our success is long term job security with competitive wages and benefits that can be defined as the applause we get from serving our clients well, supporting a more profitable WPIX and providing a motivating and empowering environment for our members.

So hear is our stated picture of the future:

We want IBEW to be the union of choice, WPIX the employer of choice, and Tribune the investment opportunity of choice. When broadcast and cable stations need to revitalize with innovative, committed engineers, they will think of us as the gold standard.

Let's begin the way we mean to continue by opening a dialog with Sam and Randy now, use , keep talking with them and each other, and start moving this team forward.

All the best,



Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,

Thanks for the reply.

I, like you, are excited about the new regime. I think their message is smart and a totally different philosophy then the old style management.

In fact, our management seems un-open-minded and perhaps scared of the new team thinking.

Unfortunately, I keep hearing rumblings through our rank and
file that "these guys are anti-union."

They are closed minded and don't see an opportunity.

I believe we are in a good position if we capitalize on their new and
exciting ideas and work with them. However some of our brothers and
sisters are as bad as management in their "old thinking."

Let's hope our Union leadership are as you say, are very optimistic,
open minded to the new situation.



Anonymous said...


Will Randy meet specifically with union represented employees?

Also, when IBEW represented employees are tied in with non-represented employees with regards to company benefits there is usually a paragraph that states that the company can change the benefits as long as the changes
are for everyone. Kind of a “What’s good for the goose” situation.

So, our position should be that they cannot carve out this new ESOP
and make us bargain for it if we already had it.

Now, I suppose they might argue that this is “new” and was not part of our previously negotiated
benefits (is that true?).

Leave it to Tribune to antagonize certain groups of employees for no good reason.

It’s an EMPLOYEE stock ownership plan for goodness sake. But, I
remember the days when Mike Mauceri used to embarrass management by pointing out that they would not match charitable contributions from their union employees. No good reason for it, just anti-union to the point of irrationality.

Seems nothing has been learned. But, maybe Randy will prove me wrong and do the right thing. Let’s see, I’ll bet “No”. Anybody
currently employed by Tribune want to bet “Yes”? I didn’t think so.


Anonymous said...

Have you had any conversations with Peter Homes regarding the initial
Zell takeover?

RA compares Tribune to a fun time, compared to past actions with Zell
vs Unions.

It seems like we may be entering negotiations via a defeatist attitude from the get go.

What we need is "good, new, ideas" and a "new approach" with an edge, a benefit for us and a solution for all, other then the same old way.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else asking Mr. Zell questions at the email address he
provided at "Talk to Sam"?

I'd love to see the questions some of our other IBEW Local 1212
brothers and sisters at WPIX are sending Sam. We should be sending them to each other, and most importantly to our reps at IBEW 1212.

The more we talk with each other, the better we are able to let our
union representatives know what support we need, like getting them to grieve the loss of our Stock Purchase Plan without including us in the new ESOP.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for your insight to share all of the valuable information you have sent out.

Many of our coworkers will benefit from the simple clear explanation of what a union is and what it is for. Hopefully they can also catch a glimmer of how and why unions came about!

I asked one time why new members are no longer required to attend a union meeting to be initiated. Sometimes I feel like an old Wobbly!

yours in Brotherhood, sincerely,


Anonymous said...

The site is truly impressive. I've already sent four or five people there, who have relayed positive sentiments.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Nice letter! I'm glad you took such a forthright approach.

I won't be in the city Tuesday, so I'm going to submit a question,
asking Zell flat-out if layoffs are in the offing, and if buy-outs will be offered.

The Zell/Tribune deal is steeped in debt. Analysts have said Zell has
to move fast to drastically cut costs or we will not be able to make the payments on our debt load.

I know he will not level with us this soon in the game. But maybe
he'll give us a sense of things to come.

Anyway...keep me posted, and I hope all is well with you!!!

Anonymous said...

Great questions!!! Thanks for Keeping us informed!!!