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Local 546-M of the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters union yesterday (Feb. 24) filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over activities of Platinum Equity, Beverly Hills-based owner of the Union-Tribune. According to the complaint, union members on both Feb. 22 and 23 went to Platinum's office to pass out handbills to the public, informing it of the union's longstanding grievances. According to the complaint, a security guard took pictures of the members and and pointed to a security camera in the bushes and said "We are keeping an eye on you." The union says that "deliberate and targeted photographing and videotaping" of union members under such circumstances constitutes unlawful surveillance. I asked for comment from both Platinum and the U-T, but neither responded after a considerable time. If they get back, I will post their comment.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Feb. 25, 2010 @ 8:35 p.m.

So the union members were at the Beverly Hills office of Platinum Equity? or do they have a local office?

If the union members were on a public sidewalk, or other public place, I don't see how they could have a case. It is perfectly legal to film people in public places.

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PistolPete Feb. 25, 2010 @ 8:49 p.m.

These union members are gettin' more and more stupid as time goes by...

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Don Bauder Feb. 26, 2010 @ 6:33 a.m.

Response to post #1: Yes, the union members were at the Beverly Hills headquarters. They were on the sidewalk in front of the office. The security guard told the demonstrators that the Beverly Hills Police Department said to tell the workers they would be arrested if they stepped off the sidewalk. The union said that mere observation of the activity doesn't constitute unlawful surveillance, but the targeted photographing and videotaping does. This may be something unique to labor laws. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 26, 2010 @ 6:37 a.m.

Response to post #2: Keep in mind that Platinum Equity takes investment funds from labor unions. Earlier, in a letter to Platinum, some of its union investors questioned the Union-Tribune's virulently anti-union editorial positions. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 26, 2010 @ 12:16 p.m.

The union said that mere observation of the activity doesn't constitute unlawful surveillance, but the targeted photographing and videotaping does. This may be something unique to labor laws. Best, Don Bauder

Oh, got it.

I thought it may have something unique to do with labor laws.

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gunner1 Feb. 26, 2010 @ 5:01 p.m.

I don't see how. If anyone is in public, i.e., a sidewalk, ANYONE may legally photograph, video, oil paint, ice-sculpt, or whatever. That's what "in public" means. Thought you being a journalist, Don, you might know that.

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Don Bauder Feb. 27, 2010 @ 1:15 p.m.

Response to post #5: I was just guessing that it is unique to labor laws. I suspect it is. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 27, 2010 @ 1:17 p.m.

Response to post #6: It's true that when you see protests, demonstrations and strikes, the faces are shown on TV and in print. However, we still don't know if this is specific to labor laws. Best, Don Bauder

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