In light of the reaction among some advertising employees, the Guild’s leadership has decided to delay further distribution of bulletins to advertisers for now. Should the Company go ahead with its threat to cancel the contract on April 9, however, all bets are off.
“We understand that advertising employees have had their commissions deeply cut, and now the Company is demanding they hit every one of their goals to get the same commissions they had earned,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “We also know that many are afraid that if they don’t hit their goals, they will have a 90-day performance improvement plan put in their personal files.”
At the same time, however, the Guild cannot be left defenseless should the Company cancel the contract and end employees’ right to take grievances to arbitration. Advertising and circulation boycotts are a last resort, but one that we need to prepare for given the Company’s unprecedented threat.
“If the contract is canceled, we will have no choice but to launch a circulation and, yes, advertising boycott,” O’Brien said. “The same people who expressed their concerns about this to the Guild should now turn to their bosses and make clear: Whether a boycott occurs is in their hands.”
The Guild also received a call from New York State United Teachers asking if the union should cancel an ad set for Tuesday. NYSUT was told not to do that, but the teachers’ union informed the Times Union there would be no future ads if the contract is canceled. Other labor unions will take the same step.
The decision to delay advertiser alerts came literally minutes before fliers were about to be distributed in front of several Central Avenue businesses in Albany on Tuesday. The Guild will continue to let the public know about the Company’s attack on our union in other ways.
Our members are invited to stop by from 6-7:30 p.m. Friday at Maxie’s to talk to Guild leaders and find out how you can help convince the Company that there will be dramatic consequences to canceling our contract. Find out what actions are being planned and how you can participate.
The Guild has proudly represented advertising employees for decades: Fighting off efforts to create commission-only sales positions, negotiating base pay and representing employees who were subjected to discipline.
“We cannot stress clearly enough that this is everyone’s fight. No one should think they can sit on the sidelines and get the Company to compromise,” O’Brien said. “Boycotts could and will begin within weeks unless the Company is convinced in advance what a terrible mistake that would be.”