Fired News-Press Printer Speaks Out

The internal happenings at the Santa Barbara News-Press
continue to spill out onto the
pages of local newspapers and news blogs
, as evidenced by
Craig Smith’s
news of the terminations
of press room workers Ramon Lopez and
Carl Batchelder on his blog Wednesday.

Batchelder, a former press room supervisor, ended his 26-year
stint working for the paper’s Goleta printing plant at about 1:30
a.m. on Tuesday morning, when he says he and Lopez were told they
would no longer be employed there. Batchelder said the news came as
a surprise, though in-office mutters and the presence of
N-P human resources director Yolanda Apodaca led him to
believe that something of importance was happening. (On his blog,
Smith claims that Apodaca has become known as the “Angel of Death”
for her role in the termination of so many employees.) “I did not
expect to be fired, no,” said Batchelder. “I thought I was toeing
the line expected to be toed.”

Batchelder shied away from conjecture that his termination may
have resulted from union activities. Although he was concerned
about employee representation, Batchelder noted that neither his
nor Lopez’s autographs appeared on a February 14 full-page ad
featuring N-P employees thanking publisher Wendy McCaw for
her service to the community.

“[It was] pretty much like if your name wasn’t on it, your name
might be suspect,” he said, but added that other events could be
construed as having led to his termination. He said he had recently
been rebuked by press room management for not removing plates from
the press in order to prepare for new printings the following day.
According to Batchelder, his superiors said this violated a policy
of the printing plant, though he added the policy was never
mentioned any other time during his employment

“I said that we had never had a policy like this,” he said.
According to Batchelder his co-workers never mentioned any
inconvenience for anyone working the next day’s shift.

Lopez could not be reached for comment.


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