Town Hall Recap
For those who couldn't make it one of Rich Zannino's town hall meetings this week we wanted to offer a brief recap on a couple of points.
Rich suggested that it should "all be off the record," and we certainly respect that when it comes to Rich's comments about the future of the company portfolio and specific plans for revitalizing the company as we move forward, but we don't think there's anything wrong with sharing a few comments he made about your money, your benefits and your job.
First of all, as we expected, he avoided any debate on the company's regressive contract proposals while repeating his oft-stated "commitment to quality product and people." When questioned directly in New York about the health care proposals and substandard wage offers, he suggested those were topics that would be better addressed at the bargaining table— after saying that the benefits we have now are "too generous."
But there were a couple of interesting points scattered amid his overview of the company's portfolio and plans for the future.
He made it clear that some of the savings the company expects from those hikes in your share of the cost of health care would go to fund new investments and the rest would go to the "bottom line." There was no suggestion that the hike in health care premiums was designed in any way to cover higher company expenses. In other words, they don't need to cut our benefits. They just want to take money they're spending on us and spend it elsewhere.
As for jobs— both those lost and those in danger— Rich seemed to suggest that they were taking one for the team, implying that somehow losing your job was easier to accept— perhaps even noble— when you realized that your demise was building a more profitable Dow Jones.
Rich presented his thoughts on the challenges facing Dow Jones in the new marketplace— and suggested some interesting ideas about the kind of company we need to become. What he didn't seem to understand was that he can't keep trying to finance his plans out of our pockets. There was nothing in his presentation that changed our minds about the need for a quality contract.
In fact, Rich declared that everything he hopes to achieve depends on the continuing quality of the product and the people who produce it.
We'll be back at the bargaining table Tuesday, December 19th— and we'll continue pressing the message: Quality People Deserve A Quality Contract. More money. Better benefits. Stronger job protections. Improved working conditions.
Bargaining Committee Chair
IAPE CWA 1096