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MEDIA / KEVIN BRASS : Guild to 'Turn Up Heat' at the Union-Tribune

April 17, 1989|KEVIN BRASS

At a general membership meeting last Wednesday, roughly 200 members of the San Diego Newspaper Guild unanimously approved a motion advising their bargaining committee to tell Union-Tribune management to "shove it."

The motion came after the membership unanimously approved a similar motion rejecting a 9% salary increase--more than double previous salary increase offers.

Money is not the primary issue. Negotiations have been stalemated primarily due to a long list of "management rights" clauses, which Guild representatives believe are designed to break the union. The Guild, like other unions in the U-T plant, has been working without a contract for almost a year.

Representing about 1,000 U-T employees, the Guild is planning a series of anti-management activities for Thursday to coincide with the start of an increase in health-care costs, according to Guild President Ed Jahn. Guild employees, who have not had a raise since December, 1987, will have to pay $50 more a month in health fees. The employee's health program is run by U-T management.

"Our feeling is they've mismanaged it," Jahn said. "Now, they're throwing the increase on us."

Jahn said the health-care increase has helped mobilize Guild membership. Besides Thursday's unspecified activities, they also will be demonstrating at a home show sponsored by the U-T on Saturday. Jahn would not detail the Guild's plans, beyond saying the Guild is going to "turn up the heat" on management.

Jahn said the Guild also has been buoyed by aid from the national office of the Newspaper Guild.

"There is a new spirit of willingness to get things settled," Jahn said. "For the first time, it's starting to look hopeful on our side."

The loose band of talk-show hosts around the country, now known as the "Tea Bag Revolt Network," has reached new heights of importance--at least in the minds of its members. According to a press release, the network, represented locally by XTRA-AM (690) morning host Mark Williams, was "responsible for the defeat of this past winter's congressional salary grab," after they organized listeners to send in tea bags (a reference to the Boston Tea Party) to members of Congress.

Obviously encouraged by the avalanche of publicity they received for the stunt, the network members plan to meet this June in Boston to discuss future ways they can change the world. Twenty-five to 50 talk-show hosts are expected to attend.

Williams said he is looking forward to the tax write-off the trip will provide him. He downplayed a suggestion that the network could turn into a powerful, single-voiced lobbying group, threatening legislators with "government by tea bag."

"Each of us has an ego too large for that," Williams said.

The network has found another common cause: support for a national day of boycott against the Exxon Corp.

"I'm surprised we found another cohesive issue," Williams joked. "We're already bickering about who should take credit for it."

Among the 117 anti-abortion activists arrested last week in front of a Hillcrest doctor's office: Jim Holman, publisher of the Reader.

After 3 1/2 years with Airwatch Traffic, Susan DeVincent is leaving to be Larry Himmel's new partner on the KIFM (98.1) morning show. The Himmel-DeVincent pairing is scheduled to hit the air April 24.

When news of Richard Silberman's arrest broke, most local television stations and newspapers referred to him as a "co-founder of Jack in the Box," which sent representatives of Jack in the Box owner Foodmaker Inc. scurrying to the phones. They wanted to clarify that Jack in the Box was started long before Silberman became the company's vice chairman in 1965. . . . KGTV (Channel 10) had exclusive footage from two years ago of Silberman case figure Chris Petti wandering around San Diego. It was another coup for photographer Bob Lampert, who consistently comes up with some excellent footage thanks to his chummy relationship with local law enforcement agencies.

Former KNSD-TV (Channel 39) assignment editor Eric Hulnick has a new job. He's executive news producer for KVBC (Channel 3), the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas.

As dog-and-pony shows go, the offer from the firm representing KFMB-TV (Channel 8), Roni Hicks and Associates, was only a little sillier than most. To entice coverage of the station's 40th anniversary next month, professional journalists were invited to dinner at the station to "watch the news from the control room, meet the news team and even see what it feels like to deliver the news from the anchor's chair." Wow, a dream come true.

This month's edition of Channel 39's "Third Thursday," scheduled to air at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, will discuss banning assault rifles. No matter how hard they tried, the show's producers couldn't find a politician willing or able to discuss the issue. They even offered to set up satellite links to Sacramento or Washington. Still no takers.

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